A look into Bedfords’ crystal ball
30 December 2020
It is that time of year again, when we blow the dust off Bedfords’ crystal ball to see what it foretells of the coming year.
I should probably confess now that much to our subsequent disappointment, last January our crystal ball failed to predict the imminent pandemic, the resultant lockdown or the resurgent boom market that followed. But on the basis that it is now under pressure to make up for its poor performance last year with a good showing this year, let’s see what it has to tell us.
Following a Christmas lull and the imposition of travel restrictions across higher tiers in January 2021, it seems that the East Anglian property market finally resumes at a pace in February. Buyer enquiries during February and March increase and a shortage of new listings (a result of the difficulty in taking decent photographs in winter) does not prevent a number of deals being agreed off-market.
As the nights draw out and we approach the end of the Stamp Duty holiday (31 March 2021), conveyancing solicitors’ stress levels shoot up as their clients put them under pressure to get the deals completed in time. The government does not extend the relief and unsurprisingly, not every deal is done before the deadline. The first week of April is spent discussing agreed sale prices as buyers try to off-set their increased Stamp Duty liability at the expense of the seller. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre!
As spring heads towards summer, the market sees even more activity and the trends that developed in 2020 continue; buyers flock to Norfolk and Suffolk for our quieter pace of life, our rural and coastal lifestyles and the ample space around us which, vaccine notwithstanding, has huge appeal as we continue to live with Covid. Excellent broadband, space to WFH and a village with a good pub remain high on buyers’ wish lists. Sadly, some good pubs have not re-opened through no fault of their own following a winter of locked-down discontent.
As the year goes on, and despite concerns over inflation, interest rates remain low. After all, Boris & Rishi have borrowed so much to get us through 2020 that the Bank of England dares not increase rates for fear of further inflating the debt!
So, will our crystal ball’s forecasts prove accurate, or for the second year running can we trust it about as far as we can throw it? Only time will tell.
If you are thinking of selling in 2021, get in touch.