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    7th February 2021

    February 2021 Market Reports Digested

    Once a month, the largest online property sites – Zoopla and Rightmove – release market data based on the tens of thousands of properties they deal with, and in our role as advisor and partner to both landlords and tenants, we make sure we’re always up to date with the latest facts and figures.

    In order to ensure that we’re offering the best advice and the most up-to-date information to both tenants and landlords, we stay up to date – but in the interest of transparency, we’re going to try and make sure you can be too.

    Headline changes for the North West

    The main figures of import for landlords and tenants are, no doubt, those of most interest to our audience, so we’ll deal with those first.

    Annual change in house prices

    Rightmove – 7% (3.3% UK Average)
    Zoopla – 5.4% increase (4.3% UK average)

    Annual change in rental prices

    Rightmove – none given
    Zoopla – 1.8% (-0.5% UK average)

    In essence, this is reflective of a host of trends – some of which we pointed out in our 2021 trends post – including the race to beat the return of stamp duty and the increased popularity of commuter towns and villages as working from home, home schooling and other Covid-19 changes have altered people’s priorities around housing.

    average sold prices for CH postcodes
    Source: Zoopla

    However, with the end to the stamp duty holiday approaching quickly and economic instability looming on the horizon, it remains to be seen what the government will do to prevent a housing crash – with some experts predicting an extension to the holiday will be announced in an effort to stave of such an event while the country deals with the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

    So, while it’s likely we could see a shift in the desirability of the sub-£250,000 market if the holiday is ended, we may see a slow-down and overall price fall until either an announcement is made or the holiday ends. Either way, this is unlikely to impact rental values which have been pushed up by other forces and may have a more prolonged upward trajectory until the rental market settles post-vaccine roll-out.

    chart showing declining rental value in large cities year on year since the pandemic

    Interesting statistics

    A northern surge?

    According to Zoopla, there was a surge of more than 6% across areas of the north which they suspect is, at least in part, due to the perceived affordability of property in the north combined with the decentralisation of some types of employment.

    A city slump?

    However, despite the increasing value of property in the north, the cities of the north are still seeing drops in rental value as the same circumstances that are driving the house prices up make city centre living – and the connected lack of space – less desirable.

    chart showing annual change in rental value, time to let taken from zoopla monthly review

    There is a full treatment of the rental market expected soon from Zoopla, so we’ll have a closer look then if we can, but the message from both the Zoopla and Rightmove data seems to be one of cautious optimism. With a debate on extending the stamp duty holiday ending in a deferral to the chancellor’s spring budget (not a definitive dismissal), there is a potential for the present housing boom to continue into the summer.

    Unfortunately, as with so much this year, we won’t have answers to many of our questions until the summer (or March 3rd in the case of the stamp duty holiday). As such, the approach of Zoopla and Rightmove to defer to cautious optimism appears to be the sensible one.

    Need your property valued, potential rental value estimated or want to discuss the state of the property market with one of our experts? Why not Contact Us today?

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    Calculations generated by Zoopla Comparables report, from a 3-12 month period within 1 mile radius of each location.

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