Press Round Up December 2020
House prices rose at the fastest annual rate in almost six years in November, according to Nationwide Building Society. Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told The Financial Times: ‘These figures feel like the storm before the calm.’ He explained further in City AM: ‘Buyers and sellers rushed to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday before the March deadline, despite continuing Covid restrictions in October, the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and economic growth stalling. That frenzy has been since replaced by a quieter, but just as determined mood to complete sales previously agreed. We don’t see any signs either of significant price adjustments, irrespective of whether there is an extension to the stamp duty holiday, with activity continuing to be supported by a shortage of listings and longer-term low interest rates.'
Some £78.9 billion of lending was agreed in the third quarter of the year, according to the Bank of England, the highest figure since 2007. Jeremy Leaf told The Metro: ‘Buyers and sellers are determined to ensure sales agreed get over the line before the stamp duty holiday ends.'
Nearly half of London renters looking to move said they would leave the capital when the pandemic was over but Jeremy Leaf told This is Money that while some will look to make a permanent move, others will remain and seek a return to normal life. 'Plenty of renters are fed up with working from home, not least because they miss the interaction and banter of office life. Most tenants seem to be keeping their options open and signing up for relatively short periods away from the cities of say, six months or 12 months, with a break after six months, at which point they can take stock.'
The property market has enjoyed its busiest festive season as buyers rush to complete their house purchases before the stamp duty holiday ends. Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Boxing Day is usually the busiest day of the year in terms of online property searches.'
Prime minister Boris Johnson has finally agreed a Brexit deal with the European Union. While there is speculation that momentum in the property market will be lost, Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Telegraph that previous problems caused by the uncertainty since the Brexit referendum ‘pale into insignificance’ in the face of coronavirus.