Will Leyland, 13 August 2020
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster this year, right? By most accounts probably the most turbulent year in living memory. That’s been no easy task considering that in the last four years alone we’ve also had Brexit, Trump and a hung parliament.
Yet continuing the theme of ‘unprecedented’, we’ve now experienced a global pandemic across the world, starting in China in January, and shutting down vast swathes of the global economy with it.
There are estimations that it has already cost the global economy in the region of USD $3 trillion, with government support, the cost of shutting the economy on tax revenues, as well as vast amounts of government borrowing.
It was a necessary step, one might add, as without it there was a good chance that there would have been mass unemployment the likes which hadn’t been seen for centuries. All in all, whilst mistakes have absolutely been made, it needs to be said that governments around the world have done a pretty good job in limiting the economic damage through their programmes of support.
That also extended to property; the UK government announced a break on stamp duty as well as the extension of the Help to Buy programme, where the government top up the deposits of First Time Buyers.
All in all, you’d be forgiven for wondering about, or even expecting, a drop in house prices across the country given that estate agents were forced to close for nearly three months and up to 50% of the working population were being paid by the government. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
House price growth
The BBC reported recently that house prices bounced back for July, marking a shift away from the troubles of the lockdown and back to some level of normality.
According to the Nationwide, “The bounce back in prices reflects the unexpectedly rapid recovery in housing market activity since the easing of lockdown restrictions,” Activity, it said, has been boosted by pent-up demand and the stamp duty holiday.
In fact, the average price grew to £220, 936, a 1.5% increase year-on-year. This represents a huge win for the market and the sector, given the other economic news that’s been delivered so far.
An all-time high
In fact, this mini-boost from July continued all the way through to August, and actually resulted in the highest prices ever, setting a new record.
As reported by the BBC, “According to the latest Halifax House Price Index the average price of a home was £241,604 last month, 1.7% higher than June’s £237,834. Prices are 3.8% higher than July 2019.”
The same article carried quotes from Halifax managing director Russell Galley, who said “pent-up demand and a lack of available houses had combined to push up prices. The government’s cut in stamp duty had also boosted buyers’ enthusiasm”, he said.
If you’re thinking of buying, selling or moving home, it follows that now is probably one of the best times to do it.
Will Leyland, 13 August 2020