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Start of the new year could mark a turning point for prices

Ryan Fowler

December 22, 2020

Despite strong growth in recent house price indices the market has been warned that it the new year could mark a “turning point” for house prices. 

Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer of Gatehouse Bank, said the market had benefitted from a perfect combination of conditionsover the past few months but warned the next few months could be more difficult.

He said: “When the property market closed back in March, only the bravest would have predicted we would enter autumn with months of sustained house price growth right across the country.

“Yet a perfect combination of pent-up demand, the stamp duty discount, savings accumulated during lockdown and a desire for many to move to properties with more homeworking and outdoor space has propelled buyers onto the front foot and driven prices to a record high.

“Mortgage commitments are still being made at their highest levels since the financial crisis, and there are yet to be any signs of this demand levelling off.

“However, the start of the new year could mark a turning point as the March stamp duty holiday cut-off looms larger.

“Professionals across the industry, from estate agents to banks and brokers will be hard-pressed to get applications across the line in time, but there is a risk that a growing backlog could result in purchases going beyond the deadline and agreements falling through as buyers reconsider the value for money represented by their purchases.”

The latest house price figures from Land Registry, traditionally seen as the most accurate figures, put growth at 5.4% on an annual basis in October.


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