A Stockport Agent’s Views: The Rightmove January HPI Update

January 26th, 2021

Rightmove released their January House Price Index Report on the 18th January 2021 – here’s a few of the key points and my thoughts around them…

NEW buyers are highly unlikely to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline as the average time to complete a purchase is now over FOUR MONTHS.

I say – its not impossible but you would need to be in a VERY short chain and have ALL solicitors, mortgage brokers, surveyors etc on board knowingly working towards the deadline.  Communication is key throughout.  And don’t forget, if you’re a first-time buyer purchasing a property under £300,000, you will be exempt from the tax regardless.  Good news for those looking to buy a home in Stockport where the overall average price was £239,100 over the last year.

An unbelievable 613,000 ‘sold subject to contract’ properties are still awaiting legal completion, with Rightmove predicting around 100,000 will face an unexpected tax bill as they miss the 31st March cut-off.

I say – talk to your agent about contingency planning.  There may be a workaround if everyone in the chain is on board.

Despite temporary market closures in 2020, people’s housing needs meant the number of sales agreed was up by 10% for the whole year versus 2019.

I say – lockdown stimulated the new trend of those looking to make a lifestyle change including type of property they want to live in and the location of that property which no longer needs to be so ‘commutable’.

More agents are now offering online viewings to help people find their next home safely, with house-hunters encouraged to shortlist properties before choosing which ones to go and see in person.

I say – this is good and bad.  Even the best video tour or photographs cannot recreate the FEELING you get when you walk into your potential new home.  How many times have you seen people discount a property they’ve viewed online? You’ve probably done it yourself.  On the plus side, it’s the safest thing we can do in these circumstances and, some time and energy is saved on the part of everyone if the property doesn’t fit the bill.

My view – for what it’s worth

We will continue to demand more from our homes in terms of outside space such as gardens or balconies (where apartments are concerned) and flexible space inside that can adapt to our changing requirements such as office space, play rooms and the latest trend, garden pods.

We will also look to our local high streets to provide much of what we used to get by travelling into a major city such as Manchester.  Coffee shops are massively upping their game and local independent retailers who have weathered the storm during lockdown will once again bring joy to the simple pleasure of browsing for ‘things’.

The ‘experts’ are dismissing ideas of a crash post-stamp duty but suggest that prices are likely to remain static as buyers refuse to pay a premium whilst there is continued uncertainty.

Facts and figures:

The average time to secure a buyer is around 57 days nationally.  In the North West this is around 54 days.  The average price of a property in the North West is £210,365.

The full report can be found at https://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/house-price-index/.

Remember this is just my opinion, if I had a crystal ball, I’d be a very rich lady!

My aim is simple; to provide good, honest advice to home movers in Stockport and the surrounding areas and make the selling and buying process a positive experience for everyone involved.