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Surge in online property searches following stamp duty holiday and 5% deposits announcement

Rightmove saw an immediate spike in activity on Budget Day following the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement of an extension and tapered ending to the stamp duty holiday and the introduction of 5% deposits, as the portal recorded its busiest day ever.

Rightmove says that visits to its website on Wednesday 3rd March surpassed 9 million for the first time, overtaking the previous record of just over 8.5 million visits recorded last week.

In total, home-hunters spent a record 71 million minutes on the Rightmove website.

There was a significant increase in the number of potential purchasers contacting estate agents on Wednesday, up 82% on the same day last year.

Currently the average time for a seller to find a buyer is 65 days nationally, and Rightmove estimates that it is currently taking a further 126 days to go through the legal process to completion.

Based on this, sellers should be looking to come to market by Tuesday 23rd March if they want to make sure their buyers can make use of the tapering end to the stamp duty holiday by the end of September, according to the portal.

In some areas of the north 99% of properties are up for sale for £250,000 or less, compared to just 5% of properties in London available for £250,000 or less.

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “It’s clear from our record-breaking traffic numbers that the Spring Budget has introduced buyers into the market who were not perhaps able to consider moving until now or who were waiting to hear what was going to happen to stamp duty.

“The stamp duty holiday extension, coupled with the introduction of 5% deposits, has given many people the certainty they have been looking for to press ahead with their home-moving plans. We expect this to help spring market activity and could encourage more sellers to come to market especially in the areas where property prices are lower.

“Many people who may have been delaying a move for a whole multitude of reasons now have the impetus and encouragement to take their next life step – whether it’s getting a foot on the property ladder as a first-time buyer or trading up for more space and a bigger garden.”

Areas in England where there are at least 99% of properties up for sale at £250,000 or less

LocationAreaAvg asking price% of properties up for sale for £250,000 or less
FazakerleyMerseyside£124,233100%
WalkerNewcastle upon Tyne£115,940100%
WaltonMerseyside£109,700100%
KimberworthSouth Yorkshire£137,54099%
EvertonMerseyside£107,26399%
BentleySouth Yorkshire£114,23399%
BurslemStaffordshire£102,41799%
NethertonMerseyside£121,51699%
GortonGreater Manchester£144,57199%
BootleMerseyside£106,09199%
LitherlandMerseyside£129,08299%
BeestonWest Yorkshire£119,81599%

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 05/03/2021

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