So here we are in2021, 6 months since home moving restrictions were lifted last June. We have seen the number of enquiries, viewings, offers and properties coming to the market drop a little over the last couple months most likely due to the uncertainty of what the coming weeks and months will bring. This is coupled with fewer mortgage products on offer and with higher deposits required. Don’t let that stop you though, it just takes a bit more work!
There is however still demand for homes in good areas along with numerous buy to let investment possibilities in and around the town centers. Properties that have been recently refurbished usually attract the most interest and are seeing good prices being achieved which is encouraging. Equally there is still a real interest in properties requiring upgrading from the but to let fraternity.
There are still many buyers reassessing their priorities (needing an extra room to work from with more people opting to work from home, a garden etc etc)! With the Land and Building Transaction Tax holiday continuing until 31st March 2021 there will be continued demand so now could be the time to market your home and move. And with other traditional investments more limited, property still offers a solid good return.
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Rental market update
We’re now 10 months on since Covid really hit hard and despite huge uncertainty in the market, things remain extremely buoyant in the rental market. We have seen crazy busy times in May , June, July and since then the market seems to have settled a little. I thought we might see a fall in demand because the city has a fairly big proportion of student targeted property which impacts the supply across the whole rental market – and although numbers are reduced, we have not seen any impact on demand for good quality rental property in most locations. The demand continues to outstrip supply so we are extremely keen to take on more managed properties.
Rents have stayed very steady – with no big changes in most locations. Rental arrears have been a big concern with so many people losing their jobs but at this stage, we have not seen any major pattern emerging. The landlords who offered rent reductions, or holidays when requested back in full lockdown – are generally finding tenants are now back on an even keel – or those properties which became empty after tenants perhaps chose to move and lockdown “at home” are now re-rented.
We are conscious that there is potential for increased rent arrears – given the high probability of job losses following the end of furlough scheme – but we have found that inmost cases when a tenant can’t afford a property any longer- they tend to give notice to vacate. We do expect there to be more rent funded or partially funded by Housing Benefit.
The buy to let market in the city continues to be popular with investors keen to take advantage of the relatively low purchase prices on offer – and returns are staying solid. Despite the huge reduction in daily footfall into the city center itself with many still working from home, property accessible to the city center remains very popular.
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