There has been much discussion in the press regarding whether with the easing of COVID restrictions will result in people moving back to the office rather than working from home. For those who have a dedicated home office, where peace and quiet reign, the lure back will be less powerful than for those who have found homeworking to be a struggle.
This desire to create a better work life balance has led many people to either move home or build extensions to create the necessary space. Indeed, St Albans and District Council planning department has received 35% more planning applications in the last 3 months than in the comparable period a year ago, the majority of which are for extensions.
What has this all meant for the housing market in general and the mortgage market in particular?
According to Rightmove we are now in the strongest sellers’ market for 10 years with average asking prices up 2.7% in the last year, with the number of enquiries per property up 34% from March 2020.
With this in mind I spoke to Ken Simmons, Lyndhurst’s expert mortgage adviser, asking him whether he thought this would continue?
“I think it will, the recent budget extended the Stamp Duty holiday until the end of June, with tapered reduction until the end of September. Demand will be further boosted from April by the new government guarantees enabling lenders to bring back 95% mortgages. Competition is pushing rates down and while we can issue mortgage offers quickly in most cases, there are still challenges for furloughed income and the self-employed, which are taking a bit more time. One thing is for sure, seeking FREE impartial advice is as important as ever”.