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Brexit deal, vaccine and lockdown are fuelling house moves

Fri 08 Jan 2021

The latest lockdown, during the coldest time of the year, is likely to motivate families to move to homes with more indoor space, says ehB Residential.

The agency, which saw an explosion in sales last year as families looked for houses with bigger gardens, says the enthusiasm to move is likely to be even greater in 2021 – as the cold weather moves the focus away from the outside and into the warmth afforded by four walls.

ehB Residential office manager Clive Thompson said: “In the first lockdown the weather was tropical and people were looking for homes with gardens so they could get outside. Now, we are seeing a different phenomenon. People are cooped up indoors, some with several children, and realising not only do they need a garden but more space for everyone inside while the weather is freezing.”

ehB enjoyed several record sales months in 2020, with October and November seeing around twice as many sales as during the same period in 2019.

The most popular properties were, and will continue to be, family homes between £375,000 and £1.4 million. There is particular interest in those between £400,000 and £750,000 which suit both up and downsizers.

“The arrival of the Covid vaccine has given a burst of confidence to home hunters and the Brexit trade deal, which was anticipated to fall apart, has also given some stability to the market,” he added.

As a result, he believes many would-be first-time buyers with small deposits who were nervous about moving in 2020 will take the plunge this year.

He predicts that the spring will see a flurry of activity despite the ending of the stamp duty holiday.

House prices rose by 6.6% nationally in 2020 and the UK saw a 44% increase in sales in December compared with the same month in 2019. Property portal Rightmove predicts a 4% rise in house prices in 2021, not least because demand is outstripping supply.

“We already have some new properties coming onto the market and a few deals under way and we are only a few days into trading this year,” said Clive. “There are reasons to be optimistic – not least the jabs in the arm we hope will be reaching much of the population between now and June.

“The criteria for Covid era family homes have been much publicised – space for home offices, for children to play and study and a decent garden. For those who used to commute, proximity to the road and rail network is less important as they are either working from home full time or only travelling into the office sporadically.

“There is a wider air of positivity despite the current situation and we are likely to be as busy in the next few months as we were last year.”

The latest lockdown doesn’t affect moving home and all estate agency related activities are continuing as normal, including conveyancing, surveys and key handovers, which are all carried out in a Covid secure manner.

  • (caption) ehB Residential office manager Clive Thompson says the latest lockdown is highlighting the need for more indoor space, fuelling house moves well into 2021, with the vaccine and a Brexit trade deal giving more confidence to first time buyers


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