What does the property market look like going into 2021?

The fireworks have dazzled, the champagne has fizzed and the new year is here. But after such an unpredictable 2020, can anyone claim to know what 2021 will bring? Rather than take a guess (albeit a pretty educated one, if we do say so ourselves) we are going to explore what the housing market looks like now.

First things first, how does lockdown impact the housing market? The good news is that, currently, actions associated with moving house are exempt from the ‘stay at home’ restrictions, including property viewings. So, if your New Year’s resolution is to buy or sell, you’re in luck.

Construction is also allowed to continue, so if you’ve got your eye on a new build, the lockdown shouldn’t cause much delay. For the latest information on how the restrictions impact your local area, speak to your adviser.

Going into January, there are also far more mortgage options available than there were six months ago, including 90% LTV options. That is good news for first- time buyers, prospective landlords and house movers alike.

The increased number of options also allows much more choice for current property owners who are looking to remortgage; you may find you can switch to a better rate than your current one. However, there can often be costs associated with changing mortgage lenders so it’s best to check with your adviser before jumping in.

We did say we wouldn’t be guessing what may happen in 2021, but here are a few tiny predictions – we couldn’t resist. Mortgage rates may start trickling back down, along with house prices, as the rush felt in the second half of 2020 settles.

However, a lot hinges on how the market reacts to the end of the Stamp Duty holiday. Currently, the government doesn’t intend to extend the holiday any further. We won’t go as far as the Kaiser Chiefs and predict a riot, but it does seem likely that the deadline in March may cause collapsed chains and frustration. If you’re in the process of buying or selling, talk to your adviser and ensure you have a realistic idea of whether you’ll complete in time.

Whatever the year will bring, with a great mortgage adviser, you’ll be prepared for it. Happy New Year!

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