Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase in the number of people working from home as well as the initial ban on property transactions in the first lockdown, the housing market in the UK was majorly affected. After the first lockdown, the housing market restarted in the UK and was allowed during the second and third lockdown. The government introduced the stamp duty holiday which definitely helped boost the housing market as well as the buyer's confidence, and due to its overwhelming success, this scheme has been extended till July 2021. Even though the demand for homes increased, the average price of property rose in certain areas and government schemes worked like a charm, the housing market was nowhere close to where it was before the pre-Covid era. While no experts can predict with any amount of certainty the future of the housing industry in the UK, here are the four things that you need to know about the housing market in the UK in 2021.
Increase in demand for properties in the suburbs and boroughs
Due to the number of people who started working from home during the pandemic, there has been a tremendous shift in the housing priorities of homeowners and potential buyers. As more and more people are spending time at home, homeowners are choosing to upgrade their homes and their lifestyles. They are now looking for spacious properties with gardens and open terraces, and maybe spare bedrooms which can be converted into home offices. So, instead of living in a smaller apartment in the city centre, homeowners and potential buyers are choosing to buy more spacious homes in the suburbs and boroughs. Since the average price of property is relatively cheaper in the suburbs, and the homes in these areas are bigger in comparison, it only makes sense for homeowners and buyers to make the shift. So, if you’re looking for new housing developments in Bracknell, get in touch with a local estate agent as soon as possible.
Supply will continue to remain low
While there is certainly an increase in demand for houses and real estate, the supply remains low. For starters, residential projects and upcoming developments that were in the pipeline were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, the buyer’s confidence had drastically decreased. So, very few homeowners and property investors were actually willing to put their homes on the market! Experts feel that the sales could be much higher, but the lack of supply is the real problem. In the near future, it seems that the supply will remain low; either until the pandemic finishes or the buyer’s confidence increases, or both.
Lack of low deposit mortgages in the market
Previously, first-time buyers and investors could get mortgages with a deposit as low as 5 or 10 per cent. Now, due to the uncertainty around the pandemic and the instability in the employment status, lenders and bankers have become very strict about their mortgage lending criteria. As the number of low deposit mortgages in the market reduces, first-time buyers and budget investors will be unable to purchase properties in the near future. Of course, this will have a devastating impact on the housing market in the UK. In order to prevent this, the government has announced a mortgage guarantee scheme that will allow first time buyers, homeowners and property investors to get mortgages by giving just a 5 per cent deposit. Leading lenders and banks in the UK have come aboard this scheme, which should make the demand for ownership rise considerably.
Change in buyer priorities over the years
The last few years have certainly brought about a major change in the priorities of the buyer. One such trend is that most buyers are looking for homes that are eco-friendly and environmentally conscious. For example, properties that have LED lighting, photovoltaic solar panels, programmable thermostats and have energy-efficient fixtures have become very popular among conscious buyers. Also, since more and more people have started working from home and will probably continue to do so for the next few years, potential buyers and existing homeowners have started looking at properties with work from home spaces. Some buyers are looking at properties with extra bedrooms, an outhouse or maybe even a garage which can then be converted into a home office. The increase in the number of people working from home has also led to an increase in the demand for properties in the countryside, as professionals no longer have to worry about commuting to work.