The stamp duty holiday is over, furlough finished at the end of September, unemployment is due to rise and inflation is rife … is this the end of the post lockdown Docklands property boom?
Surely, we are heading for house price correction?
Forecasting what will happen in the Docklands property market this autumn may not be as simple as it first appears.
It’s true the Docklands property market is starting to settle down after an all-time number of property deals were completed in June.
More Docklands people will have moved home in 2021 than in any year since 2007, with an estimated 1.5 million home buyers nationally having bought a property.
Roll the clock back to last Christmas, and the Government’s Office for Budget Responsibility, projected that national house prices would drop between 6% and 8%.
By Christmas, the price of an average home
in Docklands will be about £506,300,
up 4.9% on last Christmas.
Let us not forget there were so many ambiguities at the start of 2021. We were about to start a 5-month lockdown, hospitals were bursting at the seams with patients, the vaccines hadn’t started, 4 in 10 employers had furloughed their staff and we had just had Brexit ... things didn’t look good.
Yet, nothing could be further from the truth 10 months later – the Docklands property market has been on fire. But after a heated summer in the Docklands property market, things certainly can’t carry on as they have been since the end of lockdown.
So, where are we with the Docklands property market as it stands? Taking reference from historical data on the website The Advisory (I would certainly recommend you check it out) …
21% of properties on the market today in Docklands
are sold subject to contract (stc).
How does this compare to October 2019 and October 2017?
In October 2017, 17% of Docklands properties were sold stc,
whilst in October 2019, 16% of properties were sold stc.
Yet how does that compare to the national picture?
In 2017, 39.72% of the country’s properties for sale were sold stc whilst in 2019, that figure was 38.11%.
Now I love a good league table, so then decided to compare our locality to the rest of the country.
So, I chose to look at the E14 postcode specifically. For information, there are 2,234 postcode districts in the country.
The 2021 sold stats put E14 in at 2,201st place in
the country, 2,166th in 2017 and 2,192nd in 2019.
As we enter the last 3 months of the year, there are not so many uncertainties as there were at the start of 2021. On the good news front, 49 million Brits have had at least one jab (45m two jabs) and the UK will be the world’s fastest growing advanced economy this year according to the IMF.
Conversely, the furlough scheme ended at the end of September and with energy prices going through the roof, a real shortage of homes for sale (as I have discussed a number of times in recent blogs) and rising inflation on the back of a shortage of raw materials and trained staff, forecasting this and what will happen to Docklands house prices might not be as easy as it seems.
Post stamp duty holiday, it is now recognised that the majority of the demand for people moving home is focused by a profound unhappiness and frustration with the homes we live in, revealed during the first lockdown in 2020.
Buyers (and tenants – so take note Docklands buy-to-let landlords) want space ... in fact, three types of space … and they will pay handsomely for them!
Office space (be that bedroom or study)
Outside space (gardens or proximity to green areas)
Broadband with ‘outa-space’ download speeds
And whilst there is a shortage of properties coming on to the market, demand and supply economics
Docklands house prices should remain relatively stable going into 2022.
The number of properties coming onto the market in Docklands is slowly improving, yet not enough to diminish house values.
Also, don’t forget Docklands first-time buyers still have stamp duty relief all to themselves again and mortgages are cheap. At the beginning of the 2020 lockdown (Spring 2020), mortgage providers removed their higher risk 5% deposit mortgages for fear of a housing market crash. Currently, the vast majority of these low 5% deposit mortgages are back, together with the Governments own 5% deposit mortgages.
Yet many Docklands homeowners are concerned about inflation
and its effect on their mortgage payments.
Inflation is important because if inflation gets too high, the Bank of England will need to raise interest rates to reduce inflation. Because mortgage payments are based on the Bank of England interest rate, higher mortgage payments will affect what people can afford. Normally the higher the mortgage rate, the less likely house prices are to increase (and in fact if interest rates are too high, house prices will fall).