The current housing market trends

The current housing market report
An unexpected development in the last year has been the strength of the UK housing market. Despite the UK being in a recession, due to a global pandemic, the housing market has not been affected by these outside influences and has weathered the storm robustly, particularly in Wales, which has seen, on average, a 5.6% yearly increase in property value; the largest increase for a country / region in the UK (source: Zoopla house price index 2021).

There are several reasons for this. The most obvious is the stamp duty holiday, introduced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, in July 2020. The lure of zero tax on the first £500k of a property’s value encouraged sellers onto the market and the buyers quickly snapped up the houses. In Wales it varies slightly with the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) collecting a land transaction tax. They too have announced a temporary increase to the nil band rate, with the threshold now at £250k on residential properties and £225k for non residential properties and land. As in England this extends until the 30th of June 2021.

The first lockdown of 2020 also had an affect on the British psyche and when restrictions were eased the market saw an increased demand for properties outside of the cities. For many families it was the attraction of having more indoor space, perhaps a garden and more countryside; a life away from the built up areas. There were also those buyers who had the option to buy rural getaways, a place to go to hunker down safely in the event of another lockdown.

Additionally, with low interest rates on savings and the unpredictability of the stock market, it became more attractive for savers to put their money into a robust housing market, yielding an attractive and stable return on their investment.

We predict that 2021 will continue in much the same vein as 2020, as these factors still hold true; making Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire attractive places to invest. The beautiful countryside and rural nature of West Wales makes it the ideal place to stay safe. Covid cases have been kept low, especially in the counties of Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. The Welsh government has the ability to act independently from the UK government and set its own rules. The councils of west Wales have been proactive and successful in keeping Covid cases low in the community. Towards the tail end of 2020 Ceredigion saw an increase in cases and the council acted quickly and decisively to successfully halt the spread.

The good news for investors is that house prices have been rising steadily and are now at an all time high in the area. For example, in December 2019 the average price for a house in Ceredigion was £186,784 and in December 2020 it was £199,562, a 6.8% yearly increase in the value of your property. In Carmarthenshire, during that same period, the average price for a house increased by 8.3% and in Pembrokeshire by 9.5%. For more information click here.

There has also been an increase in first time buyers onto the market, and this will continue to increase with the government’s new mortgage guarantee scheme, announced in the 2021 budget. This will help buyers, with a low deposit, get a foothold on to the property ladder, as will the extension of the stamp duty holiday on a first property.

All the evidence indicates that this is a good time to sell your house, if you’ve been thinking about it then don’t put it off any longer. The time to sell is when demand outstrips supply and that’s where we are, with the overall number of homes being marketed 13.8% below 2020 levels. We don’t have the ability to predict the future but the signs are there for us all to read.