The Harding Laity Market Report, March / April 2021
Thinking of buying or selling in Cornwall? Unsure if the time is right? Read on to hear our thoughts on the extension of the stamp duty holiday and the re-introduction of a mortgage guarantee scheme…
Last year certainly bought a lot of turmoil into the Cornish property market, with an influx of buyers and strong prices achieved, but also a lot of uncertainty about where things were heading.
Now, with the 2021 Spring Budget out of the way and an easing of lockdown on the horizon, things are looking a little more settled and sedate, although still very busy!
However, interest in the South West generally and Cornwall especially is still high, especially as many big firms are making noises about permanent home working, giving employees more flexibility about where they choose to put down roots.
Here are some key messages about the state of the market right now; essential reading for those looking to buy or sell houses in Cornwall during the rest of 2021!
What’s happened to the stamp duty holiday?
The stamp duty holiday was due to end on 31st March but has now been extended to 30th June for properties under £500,000. Then from the end of June to the end of September the tax-free threshold will be set at £250,000, which should support sales in the lower to middle price brackets, especially coupled with the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme.
After that it is set to return to £125,000.
This will come as a relief to buyers who are still in the early days of finding and purchasing that perfect property in Cornwall, although September is already approaching quickly!
We’re expecting a period of high demand, especially as lots of buyers will be keen to get in and settled in their new home before summer. So, if you’ve been considering bringing your property to market for a while then now might be the time!
Mortgage Guarantee Scheme; what does it mean for me?
Changing lifestyles and priorities fuelled demand for Cornish properties last year and into 2021, particularly those in rural and waterside locations and at the higher end of the market. Now, with the reintroduction of this scheme aimed at first-time buyers, the lower end of the market could get a boost too.
The scheme starting in April is designed to help new buyers find that elusive deposit by encouraging lenders to offer more 95% loan to value mortgages on competitive terms for property purchases at or below £600,000.
Lloyds, NatWest, Santander, Barclays and HSBC will be offering 95% mortgages from April, with other lenders including Virgin Money expected to launch products shortly.
However, there are still strict affordability criteria and many younger people who were looking to buy will have had their plans set back by the pandemic. So, we’ll have to see how much of a boost this scheme will generate.
If you’re a buyer than this may well help you, and homeowners looking to move off the first rung of the housing ladder may also find that it gives them upward momentum!
What’s happening to house prices in Cornwall?
It’s a promising time for sellers, with properties moving off the market quickly and many with multiple offers and the asking price achieved. However, if you’re looking to stay in Cornwall you clearly need to factor this high level of demand into your own property search.
House prices are strong across Cornwall but we still advise all of our sellers to be realistic about the price they might achieve, and to put as much time and effort as possible into preparing their home for sale.
The new ‘wish list’
Properties with rural surroundings, a garden, and home-working potential are still getting snapped up quickly. If you’re thinking about putting your property on the market you obviously can’t change its location or footprint, but can you emphasise some of those ‘must have’ factors.
For example, whereas a third or fourth bedroom might have been more important previously, now presenting that room as a home office could add more value. Check your Broadband speed and make sure you have accurate information, and ensure your agent has details of shared work spaces nearby that might appeal to former city-dwellers.
If you have space for a home studio in the garden make sure this goes into the details, and also ensure your agent gives comprehensive information about the surrounding area; buyers might not be so bothered about road and rail connections and more interested to know about the lifestyle opportunities on their doorstep.
How can Harding Laity help?
If you’d like to talk to us about your individual property we’d be very happy to help you put things into context, and of course we can provide a free appraisal at any time. Here at Harding Laity, the team will do everything they can to help you achieve a smooth sale, putting you in the best position as you search for your next home.
It’s also worth noting that Harding Laity are forging ahead with innovative digital packages to help you sell your property, including detailed locations reports and lots of lifestyle content aimed at attracting buyers to your Cornish property.
With more people undertaking their property search remotely, all these tools will help you reach the right audience when you do decide to go to market.
So, is it time to start a new chapter? Give us a call on 01208 813874 or drop us an email at email@example.com