Buying a house in 2021

Buying a house in Sheffield is an exciting time today.

People thought the end of Britain’s Brexit transition period followed by the Covid-19 pandemic would impact the housing market in a profound and negative way but research suggests otherwise.

So what are the key milestones that have impacted the housing market in recent times? 

The Bank of England bank rate was reduced to 0.1% effective from 19th March 2020. This means that the cost of borrowing is cheaper making the purchase of a property more achievable – especially for first time home buyers.

As the UK came out of the first Coronavirus lockdown in June 2020, the Chancellor (Rishi Sunak) introduced a suspension of Stamp Duty on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland. This came into effect on 8th July 2020. Click here to read an article we wrote on the Stamp Duty Holiday which contains valuable information about the Stamp Duty levels.

The Chancellor’s 2021 Spring Budget is already introducing encouraging signs to help homebuyers and raise confidence in the housing market.

  1. The Stamp Duty holiday has been extended until the end of June 2021. After that, the nil rate band will be set at £250,000 which is double the standard level until the end of September; and
  2. Set to launch in April, the 95% Mortgage Guarantee Scheme will come into effect. This will see the Government guaranteeing 95% mortgages for buyers with a 5% deposit.

Could this be the “new normal”? Moving forward, lenders are becoming creative in the way finance offers are packaged. Most recently, a broker launched the UK’s longest-ever 40 year fixed rate mortgage with no early repayment charge or exit fees. Available in England & Wales to first time buyers, existing homeowners moving home or even those looking to re-mortgage. Borrowers can lock in the interest rate at the beginning of the mortgage term and enjoy a fixed rate until 2061 meaning, monthly repayments would remain the same throughout the entire term of the loan.

The introduction of longer fixed term mortgages could save people money as there are often product fees and associated charges when porting an existing mortgage to another finance option.

The housing market in Sheffield is very active right now. Houses are selling quicker and for amounts in excess of asking prices. Rightmove reveals some surprisingly buoyant data:

  1. In February 2021, the average price of property coming to market has risen by 0.5% (an increase of £1,522)
  2. The first week in February compared to the same time last year saw online visits on Rightmove by keen home-hunters increase by 45%. This led to enquiries increasing by 18% resulting in a 7% increase on agreed purchases.

High demand surpasses supply and this is pushing prices up whilst new seller numbers are 21% down as the delay in families putting their property on the market could be caused by the lockdown, working from home and home schooling.

If you are thinking about selling and would like a market appraisal of your home, call Nicholas Humphreys (Sheffield – Broomhill & Crookes) on 0114 470 4715 or e-mail and ask us about our marketing strategy and “no sale, no fee” promise. Our office is open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm