Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the property market has remained as competitive as ever across the region. Demand for houses is constant, and it poses the question of what will happen to the property market in 2022?
During the Coronavirus outbreak, our homes have been critically important. We have spent many months staying within them to protect ourselves and working from them to maintain our livelihoods.
We have come to learn exactly what we require from our homes, and many buyers and tenants have opted to move based on their newfound requirements during the pandemic.
Larger gardens and outdoor spaces, working from home offices, or home gyms have become the trends in search terms for properties since the pandemic took a firm grip on the nation.
This pandemic driven demand has been reinforced through several other contributing factors. In July 2020, the Government announced a stamp duty holiday which ran through until September 2021; leading to many buyers pushing their sales through to meet the deadline.
The Government further contributed to the demand in the property market this year, including guarantees for mortgages and green home grants to help with prospective costs when moving into a property.
These factors mean that it is likely that 2021 will round out with an estimated 1.5 million homes having exchanged hands throughout.
That makes it the busiest year in the housing market since 2007.
It has become clear in recent weeks that COVID-19 is set to leap into 2022 with us. Having had such an impact on the property market since the initial outbreak, it poses the question:
The stamp duty holiday has ended. The green homes grant has ceased. We are no longer forced to stay or work from home (although at present, it is still advised to do so where possible). The incentives to move home during the pandemic simply aren’t as strong as they have been since the start of 2020.
Furthermore, our ability to have a somewhat normal life out in the world no longer leaves us reeling from cabin fever with our current properties.
This likely means that the UK property market is set to stabilise itself in 2022, returning to more recognisable levels of activity from before the pandemic.
According to property portal Zoopla, buyer demand is currently 28 per cent above the five-year average, Yet despite the strong demand, the number of properties on the market is down by a staggering 42 per cent compared with the same five-year average.
This could all change in the coming weeks, however.
The majority of December is a notorious time for the property market slowing down, particularly as friends and families come together for Christmas. Boxing Day however tells another tale. 51 million users browsed Rightmove last year looking for properties following the festivities of December 25th.
Not only is this likely to drive the demand further, but could also see an influx of stock arrive on the market in time for 2022. If moving home was to be your new year resolution for 2022, then looking to do so right at the start is certainly an ideal recommendation.
The average time to sell a property has also managed to stabilise heading into 2022, but has shown a slight pick up since October. It is unlikely to radically change over the next couple of months as the demand remains high.
Competition always makes it harder for first-time buyers, particularly as prices soar. 2022 will undoubtedly be an expensive year for first-time buyers, although there are options to make it cheaper and easier for first-time buyers.
The shortage in flats and apartment stock is far less acute than that of houses. They have also seen lower price gains over 2021, making them more affordable for first-time buyers. If you are looking to get your foot on the property ladder, regardless of property type, then this may be a viable solution.
If you are looking to sell in order to upsize, downsize, or relocate, the type of property you have could be the deciding factor in the speed of your sale. Family homes are particularly in demand heading into 2022, which is ideal particularly for downsizers.
If you are looking for a swift sale, you need to be sure to coordinate your sale with your next purchase, which could be difficult.
If you are looking to sell, the best time to put your property on the market is just before Christmas. Annual trends show that online searches for properties skyrocket on Boxing Day as millions of people start looking for their next home. So if you’re serious about selling, it’s a great opportunity to get your home in front of millions of potential buyers, giving you the best chance of being seen and getting sold.
If you’re not quite ready to sell before Christmas, you should ideally look to be having your property on the market ready for the start of the New Year.
The stabilising of the property market into 2022 will mean that purchase prices are more in line with achievable rental yields. Overpaying for a property and being unable to achieve a rental figure that reflects this, could vastly reduce the return on your investment. You should remain vigilant with any due diligence during the purchasing stage, ensuring that you continue to invest around in-demand areas, and don’t pay more upfront than you can realistically achieve in rent. Working with a managing agent well-versed in local in-demand areas is a certain, positive first step to getting you the best results.
If you are thinking of moving or selling in 2022, and want to capitalise on the surge in demand into the new year, there is still time to get listed. Get in touch with a member of our team today to book a property valuation and see how we can help you welcome in 2022 with your next chapter on the property ladder.