A look at some of the people who came off better in 2021’s UK Property Market, and those who got less lucky with the tumultuous circumstances the last 12 months have brought us.
WINNER: Stamp Duty Tax Holidayers
Arguably the biggest driver behind the busiest property market since 2007, the stamp duty holiday saw thousands allowed to avoid paying tax on properties below the value of £500,000.
Though this helped drive up prices by nearly 20% in some areas of the UK, lots of people were able to get on the property ladder avoiding a tax that could have priced them out previously.
LOSER: Hesitant Property Sellers
Rightmove reported that house sales between March and April 2021 were up 55% on 2019 levels, with demand for properties reaching new levels.
Though house prices remain high, many estate agents expect the market to cool in 2022. Those who sat on the fence over selling their property in 2021 potentially missed out on making more money from their sale.
WINNER: Homebuyers in London
One area in the UK that in some cases saw house prices decrease against the curve, was London. Nationwide reported that the capital was the only region in the UK to experience lower annual price growth in 2021 compared to 2020, with 6.2% growth year-on-year.
Average house prices there may still be sky-high, but some buyers may have got a property at a lower price than expected.
LOSER: Homebuyers in Leeds
The High-speed railway project, HS2, which has been in development for years, received more updates in 2021. Firstly, the completion of the tracks joining London to Birmingham is now likely to be delayed from 2026 to 2029-2033. Worse though for people in Leeds and others on the proposed ‘Eastern Leg’, is that their link to HS2 was scrapped in November 2021. That’s despite Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying in May, “We are going to include HS2 on the eastern leg to Leeds”.
WINNER: Property Investors Flipping Homes
‘Flipping’ is where a property investor purchases a property, then looks to sell it a short time later at a higher price.
Figures from Hamptons showed that 19,000 properties were flipped during the pandemic, with the average investor making £48,190.
LOSER: Buyers Delayed by the Pandemic
Our ‘How I got on the Property Ladder series’ revealed buyers who, after agreeing purchases early in 2021, had to wait several months to move in. Even while the COVID situation in the UK began to stabilise, the Aldermore found that between March 2020 and March 2021, the pandemic cost first time buyers over £1 billion in extra costs, or around £5870 per person on average.
“Purchasing my home during the COVID-19 Pandemic was a challenge. I made my offer in March 2020, and completed at the end of June 2020, due to lawyers working from home. Furniture was also delayed by several months, so I didn’t move in until August 2020” -Lillian (How I Got on the Property Ladder Series 3)