Posted: 21.01.21 at 10:48 by Maria
In the face of a difficult start to 2021, home buyers are seeing signs of encouragement for their hopes of purchasing a new home this year, as housebuilder Vistry Group is predicting a strong year for the housing market in Lincolnshire.
The stamp duty holiday, low-interest rates and schemes such as Help to Buy have combined to create a positive backdrop throughout 2020 and into the new year, despite obvious challenges.
Vistry East Midlands is anticipating this demand will continue well into the new year, in spite of the new challenges posed by a third national lockdown.
Nic Chapman, sales and marketing director for Vistry East Midlands, said: “While a strange year for us all, 2020 proved to be naturally challenging for the housing industry.
“From the moment the housing market safely reopened to the public, right through to the end of the year, demand for new homes continued, and our teams worked tirelessly to ensure our customers were not only safe when they visited our sites, but that the obvious complications we were all faced with were met with all the due diligence necessary.
“Last year, we acted quickly to install QR codes across all our developments as a measure to keep our staff and customers safe on site, as well as introducing telephone appointment visits, social distancing as standard and additional safety measures such as Perspex safety screens and additional hand sanitiser stations at our developments.
“Now, as we enter a new phase of the pandemic in 2021, our staff and developments are already Covid-secure thanks to the variety of measures we swiftly put in place last year, and have since enhanced following recent government guidance.
“There is also evidence that home movers remain committed to finding a new home in 2021. We are receiving enquiries from some people who had postponed a move in 2020 and now have the confidence to proceed.
“Buyers are choosing to postpone other arrangements such as holidays abroad to commit to buying a home, even in the face of a new national lockdown, as the industry continues to safely deliver new homes while following the government’s advice.”
Vistry East Midlands, which includes Bovis Homes and Linden Homes, as well as Vistry Partnerships, is not alone in witnessing a spike in demand over recent months.
In December 2020, the National Association of Estate Agents Propertymark reported a 29 per cent increase in prospective buyers in the market for a home. The average number of prospective buyers registered per estate agent rose to 580, the highest amount since August 2004.
Jason Blunden, managing director of Evolve Financial Solutions, said: “2021 is going to be a great year for house hunters across the country.
“The average house price in the UK was up 5.4 per cent in the year up to October 2020, according to the latest UK House Price Index figures from the land registry. This is the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since October 2016 and demonstrates resilience in the market.
“While house prices continue rising, the Bank of England has kept the base interest rate at 0.1 per cent, remaining at a record all-time low. With the stamp duty holiday available on completions to the end of March and the new Help to Buy scheme assisting more first-time buyers, 2021 looks to be promising.”
With Help to Buy, you can buy a new home with a five per cent deposit and a 75 per cent mortgage. The remaining 20 per cent is provided as a government-backed equity loan which is interest-free for five years.
Help to Buy was previously available to people moving home. When the scheme was extended, it was altered to become a first-time buyer scheme and regional price caps have been introduced. Vistry is offering Help to Buy for first-time buyers across the area.
Nic Chapman added: “The housing market is of huge importance to the wider economy. Conditions for purchasers look set to remain favourable during 2021 and buying a new home presents many advantages. We look forward to helping more customers across Lincolnshire to make their first or next move.”
Vistry Group is currently building a selection of three and four-bedroom homes at its Springfields development in Deeping St James, as well as in developments across Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
For more information about Vistry East Midlands developments, visit bovishomes.co.uk and lindenhomes.co.uk/eastmidlands.