The February Market Report by Propertymark suggested that one in nine properties sold achieving over the initial asking price. This is a sure sign that the supply of property onto the market was lagging behind demand. I sense that this is a situation which may continue for a while as during March there have continued to be limited new instructions as compared with the demand form buyers.
The easing of lockdown may well result in an upswing in new sales instructions, combined with the Easter break this may help buyers who are desperate to find their new home prior to the ending of the Stamp Duty holiday. Those buying under £250,000 have until the end of September to complete their sales but for others there is the potential of an almighty scramble to complete In order to save a few thousand pounds.

The medium term scenario is how will the market react once the Stamp Duty holiday is past, will the market stagnate, will prices fall? Very much a wait and see situation. It is not as if agents have a huge stock of houses to sell, indeed many are reporting that they have fewer properties for sale now than they have had for several years. If this continues into the autumn then the current rise in prices may ease with the return of Stamp Duty, but, with limited stock levels it is unlikely to lead to a decline in prices. Asking prices may well stabilise and there may be more room for negotiation for buyers, possibly leading to a short term levelling out of the market until we become used to the norm of paying Stamp Duty again.

An interesting time ahead for sellers, do you sell now when the market is strong and then wait to see if there is any kind of a market correction with a slide in prices, or buy when there is limited availability and not necessarily buy what should be your next ideal home. A difficult decision to make. If you are happy to consider renting for a while that may give you the opportunity to be sure that your next home is the right home but do you risk the chance of getting left behind if prices continue to rise, or gain the benefit from an easing in prices?

The ball is in your court.