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Written by Lucy Pitts

There is no doubt that Covid 19 has changed many lives for good. In the space of 12 months working from home has become the norm with Zoom and online conferencing becoming second nature, and many large employers taking the decision to permanently downsize office space. Although the country is gradually re-opening, it is unlikely that working practices and lives will ever completely return to how things were before March 2020.

Changes to house buyer trends

One of the sectors that has felt the changes brought about by the lockdown most is the housing market. Almost overnight house buyers’ preferences changed. Suddenly people didn’t need to be centrally located or near a station to get to work. And suddenly the need for space outside and in became very important.

Home-schooling and homeworking really underlined the need for internal space, but big gardens and the need to get out into the country and far away from crowds became equally important.

Then the Government announced a Stamp Duty holiday and the housing market really burst into life. So, if that all resonates with your situation, it begs the question, should you sell now or stay in your current home?

The case for selling

Property prices have soared in the last 12 months and property experts, like Knight Frank, predict house prices will continue to increase during 2021.  In some areas, such as the south east, prices have risen by as much as 10% with demand out stripping supply. Add in the significant savings that could be made as a result of the Stamp Duty holiday and it is undoubtedly a seller’s market at the moment. When the Government announced an extension to the Stamp Duty holiday in March, large estate agents like Purple Bricks announced record numbers of visitors to their website and a surge of enquiries.

The case for staying

Many of the reasons which might persuade you to sell, may also persuade you to stay. If you sell, you nearly always have to buy too and rising prices, large number of buyers and a decrease in suitable housing coming onto the market mean it’s a fierce market and you’re unlikely to snap up a bargain.

What’s more, the extension of the Stamp Duty holiday was primarily for the benefit of those who had already agreed a sale but hadn’t managed to complete in time for the 31st March deadline. You’ll be extremely hard pushed to complete in time to take advantage of the extension if your purchase isn’t already well underway.

The home improvements option

Of course, one of the other beneficiaries from the lockdown was the home improvement industry. Loft conversions, extensions, and adding a conservatory can all add to the value of your home, in some cases by as much as 5-15%. As can a new kitchen or bathroom too.  Of course, costs can vary, but renovating often provides a really affordable option. For example, one of our conservatory replacement roof and ceiling systems can completely transfer a tired, damp and unusable space into a stunning and useful new room and often for much less than you may have imagined.

Your wellbeing

There’s also your wellbeing to consider. A house move is considered one of the most stressful life events and on top of the stress caused by the pandemic, you may feel it’s one stress you don’t need. Money saved on legal fees and removable costs might just be better spent on doing those longed for improvements that make your home somewhere you love spending time and gives you a sense of wellbeing. Time which could have been spent treading the streets looking for properties could perhaps be spent having a good declutter and refreshing some of your rooms.

So sell or stay?

Well of course at the end of the day the decision is one for you not us. But if you’re persuaded by the case to stay argument why not get in touch with us to discuss replacing your flat roof, conservatory roof or even installing a garden office. We can operate Covid safely and in a contactless way and our installations are quick, easy and generally mess free!  All of which might just make staying put, a no brainer.

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