Supporting the Housing Market

Since the start of Covid-19, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has allowed the housing market to remain active during the pandemic. Buyers are still able to attend viewings, purchase properties and move houses if they feel comfortable enough to do so.

During the second half of 2020, after the end of the first lockdown, estate agencies experienced a mini-boom due to the cut in stamp duty. The government confirmed that this cut, which allowed buyers not to pay this tax on properties worth £500,000 or less, would start in July 2020 and end in March 2021. Today, this cut has been further extended until the end of June, with a transition period ending on the 30th of September. 

This deal, if you will, has prompted thousands of buyers to purchase and move. Working and generally spending more time at home, especially during lockdown, has led to a need for a change of residence. Whether it be to find a larger place, downsize in property, move to the country, live closer to parents or own a greater outside space – residents are looking to move and save money, especially right now.

 

A picture of a beautiful house

Stamp Duty – How Much Can a Homebuyer Save?

With the stamp duty holiday, homebuyers can save thousands of pounds when purchasing a property. First time buyers, prior to this cut, were already exempt from paying tax on properties that were £300,000 or less. Nonetheless, today, if they are looking for more expensive properties over £300,000 and under £500,000, they will save from £2,500-£10,000.

Those who are not first-time buyers are benefiting even more. Buyers can save £1,500 on properties sold at £200,000 and save up to £15,000 on properties valued at £500,000.

This tax cut is allowing thousands of people to purchase properties that would have not been accessible to them otherwise.

How Does it Benefit Landlords?

Landlords can also benefit from this stamp duty cut. Even though they still have to pay a 3% surcharge when buying any second home, those who now want to buy a property worth £500,000 or less won’t have to pay an extra tax. As with homebuyers, this stamp duty cut is allowing hesitant landlords to take advantage of this temporary break.

Also, in some areas of the UK, the rise in rental demand has increased the value of the rental market. This means that today landlords can secure higher rent.

If you’re a landlord, we recommend the support of a professional body, especially during these unprecedented circumstances. The British Landlord Association is a free national association for residential & commercial landlords. BLA will assist you at all times and supply you with necessary documentation, all free of charge.

The Increase in House Prices 

Due to the stamp duty holiday, house prices have also increased. The Office of National Statistics stated that the UK average house prices increased by 4.7% over the year up to September 2020, including a formidable increase from August to September 2020, with a growth of 1.7%. December also hit an all-time high reaching an average price of £253,374. In total, there has been an overall 7.5% increase in housing market prices during 2020. 

Stamp Duty Extension

The popular e-petition drew more than 150,000 signatures to request to extend this tax cut until September 2021.

On the 3rd of March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his Budget speech that the stamp duty holiday will be extended until June 30th. From the 1st of July until the 30th of September, there will be a transition period decreasing this tax cut.

So, homebuyers, landlords and estate agencies can still benefit greatly from this continuation, not to mention the overall economy.

Is This the Right Time for Homebuyers to Purchase a Property?

Jane Cronwright-Brown from Savills estate agency states that their country offices have seen a 74% applicant increase and 12% in their offices in London. She also urges buyers to commit: “Bear in mind that the further we move out of lockdown and the further along with vaccine delivery, the more competitive the environment will become. So, you’re unlikely to have a better time this year to agree a deal.”

To comply with Covid-19 regulations and keep both homebuyers and staff members safe, Savills is carrying out most viewings virtually. After that, if all parties agree, and a virtual viewing has already been executed, only then, an in-person viewing may be conducted.

Savills is one of the many estate agencies that have enforced these rules in order to keep everyone safe.

Online Presence is Critical for Estate Agencies 

For estate agencies, it’s pivotal to promote feelings of safety and transparency to their clients. Even though Boris Johnson allowed the property market to remain active, many still feel vulnerable and exposed when viewing a house. 

This is where reviews can help these specific businesses out. Living in a digital and socially distant world, customer reviews can help residents trust an estate agency.

Nowadays, working from home has prompted more people to spend time online. The National Apartment Association affirms that as potential buyers are not able to do physical viewings or visit the agency office, digital presence can help highlight a brand’s authenticity and promote their business. Today, reviews are critical for a business’s success, especially for estate agencies.

Reviews Can Make All the Difference

It can be hard to find the right review platform to increase your online presence. However, at Psydro, we have created a designated Property & Home category for all the businesses related to this field. This section can help consumers find in just a few clicks what they are looking for and decide which agency to go for.

Psydro also offers an extensive selection of features to assist businesses such as estate agencies with their marketing strategies. For instance, the Consumer Insights feature allows businesses, through their merchant dashboard, to ask specific questions to their customers.

You can create up to 10 campaigns, including four possible answers for each, about a specific question you want to ask your customers, such as ‘how do we improve our service during Covid-19?’. These will pop-up once a customer has written a review about you.

Consumer Insights can help you improve as a business and exceed your customer’s expectations. You will also gain a greater understanding of what you’re doing well and what your customers think needs improving without having it publicly posted as reviews.

To conclude, estate agencies can greatly benefit from customer reviews and consumer insights as it can help them make the most of a booming housing market to increase their market share. Join Psydro today and start enjoying all our unique marketing tools that will help you attract new customers and stand out from your competition during these unprecedented times.

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