Buyers seek chain-free homes ahead of stamp duty deadline

Essex Home Finance
There has been a sharp increase in buyers searching for properties with “no chain” as the end of stamp duty holiday approaches.
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There has been a sharp increase in buyers searching for properties with “no chain” as the end of stamp duty holiday approaches, figures from Rightmove show.

The website also found that there has been a steep rise in agents highlighting home office space in property listings as they seek to appeal to more buyers working remotely.

The number of searches for homes that are not caught up in a chain rose by 110 per cent between June and October, while the number of property listings which mention “office”, “workspace” or “working from home” increased up by 326 per cent over the same timeframe.

Home hunter searches for properties with an “outbuilding” or “annexe” are up by 90 per cent and 89 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, there are signs of more buyers looking to upsize, possibly as a result of the stamp duty holiday and spending more time cooped up at home during the pandemic.

Five-bedroom detached houses are finding a buyer 30 days more quickly than they did in March,

Back in March, these properties were taking an average of 92 days from being first listed on Rightmove until they were marked as under offer or “sold subject to contract”. 

That time has reduced to 62 days. 

In March, four-bedroom bungalows were taking 86 days to find a buyer but now they are selling in 59 days.

Rightmove director of property data Tim Bannister says: “Over the past eight months, with the requirement for many people to work from home, we’ve seen workspaces evolving from laptops balancing on the end of the bed to fully equipped home offices in the garden shed, and everything in between.  

“Many home-movers have determined that their current property doesn’t offer enough space for effective home working and have been trading up – either within their local area or looking further afield for that bigger home.  

“Agents I’ve been speaking to have said that they’ve been inundated with requests from prospective buyers for properties with an extra reception room, an extra bedroom, or an extra building outside that they can turn into a functioning office. 

“Working from home is here to stay for many, perhaps not full-time but certainly a few days a week, and so it looks like the trend of home-hunters settling for a make-shift place to perch a laptop seen back in March has been replaced with a more permanent need for space being added to their property checklist.”

Original Article from Mortgage Strategy 17/12/2020

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