This is certainly a year we are all going to remember. We have gained a new appreciation for what matters, we have a wealth of new Covid-19 jargon, and face masks and distancing has become the norm. Yet through it all, the property industry has been ticking away; we have changed our practices, introduced virtual viewings and valuations, and throughout Bath people have been buying, selling and moving home. Let’s review 2020 and see what 2021 may bring.
Life, but not as we know it
Your alarm goes off, you climb out of bed to start your morning routine. Dressed and ready you head off on your daily commute to the office – yet your office is no longer filled with colleagues and noise, now it is an area in your apartment, and the chat while making a brew is now replaced with Zoom calls and WhatsApp groups. For many companies, this transformation has led to huge operational changes within their business, where working from home is now the norm.
This is why we have seen a massive increase this year in buyers placing a home office high up on their wish list. In response, as agents, we have been ensuring that any ‘office’ potential is clearly labelled within the description of a property. As such, Rightmove has seen an insane 326% jump in the terms ‘working from home’, ‘office’ and ‘workspace’ in property listings.
The stamp frenzy
The announcement of a Stamp Duty holiday by Chancellor Rishi Sunak saw what some people described as a ‘home moving frenzy’. Now there is no doubt that the holiday did encourage many to bring forward their plans for moving home, and even opened the doors to others. Yet for us at The Apartment Company, we found that the decision to move was more down to a reassessment. Let’s be honest, this year has made us all think and reflect, allowed us to rediscover and we have made huge life decisions, such as where we want to live, how we want to live, and with whom.
The property market
Across the country the property market has been busy: UK house prices have grown by 5.4% a year to October 2020. In terms of transactions, 105,630 were recorded in October 2020, 8.1% higher than October 2019 and 9.8% higher than September 2020 (HMRC). In Bath, over the last 12 months, 26% of property sales were apartments. Regardless of if you are looking to buy, sell, let or rent, you will want to understand the facts of what is happening in the local property market. And now you can, by viewing our regularly updated market insight report on our website, keeping you up to date so that you can make the right decision.
What does the future hold?
The announcement that the Stamp Duty holiday will not be extended is not what we would have liked, but that being said, the market next year is not predicted to be bleak. Moving home is still high on the agenda for many in 2021, and Rightmove forecasts a robust 4% national average house price growth in 2021. The Christmas and New Year period always sees records broken for property views on Rightmove and there is no indication that this year will be any different. Therefore we are all prepared for a busy 2021, as many wish to put away the ghosts of the pandemic and dream of a fresh start in the new year.
“The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.” Josiyah Martin
New beginnings start with The Apartment Company.