11 Feb 19% Drop in High Wycombe Homes ‘For Sale’ in Last 4 Months
What does this mean for High Wycombe property owners?
With most High Wycombe families home schooling their children in lockdown and the forthcoming Stamp Duty Holiday deadline on the 31st March 2021, less High Wycombe properties have been coming onto the High Wycombe property market since the new year. This has prompted a 19% drop in the supply of High Wycombe homes for sale compared to October 2020.
For the past couple of decades, like clockwork, High Wycombe estate agents’ busiest times for putting property onto the market is the new year to Easter rush, with a smaller flurry of new properties coming onto the market in the mid/late summer. Yet, since the ending of lockdown 1.0 in the late spring 2020, nothing has been normal about the High Wycombe property market.
Throughout the summer, the number of properties coming onto the market in High Wycombe steadily rose to its peak in October and the number of properties then becoming sold subject to contract (stc) rose even higher (and whilst statistics don’t exist for the properties sold stc, anecdotal evidence suggests there were just under 50% more High Wycombe properties sold stc in the last six months of 2020, compared to the same 6 months in 2019).
However, back to the number of properties for sale…
The peak of the number of High Wycombe properties on the market in autumn was 782 – that now stands at 633.
The first lockdown caused many High Wycombe homeowners to want to move with the need for extra space to work from home and in some cases larger gardens. This was further exacerbated by High Wycombe home movers also trying to take advantage of the Stamp Duty Holiday to save themselves money on this tax.
This meant many more High Wycombe properties came onto the market (more than a “normal” year) in the last 6 months of 2020. However, those High Wycombe home movers motivated to move for the extra space/save money on the tax, did so in the summer/autumn and have already placed their High Wycombe home on the market (and are probably by now sold stc rushing to get their house purchases through before the deadline on the tax savings).
So, how does High Wycombe compare to other property markets, and what does this reduction in High Wycombe properties on the market mean to High Wycombe homeowners and landlords?
There are 19% more properties on the market today in High Wycombe, compared to 12 months ago.
When I compared that to the national picture, according to Zoopla, there are 12% less properties on the market today (compared to a year ago).
There are currently 47,900 apartments for sale in London compared to January 2020, when there were only 32,600 – a massive rise of 46.9% … all the more interesting when there are only 15.1% more London semi-detached houses for sale and 1.8% more London detached homes over the same 12-month period. The jump in London apartments for sale is being pushed by an upsurge of London up-sizers eager to trade their city living apartment up to suburban houses, and a small handful of panicky London buy to let investors who are wanting to exit the London property market following falling rents for apartments. Looking closer to home, there are…
27% more terraced properties for sale in High Wycombe than a year ago, whilst there are 10% less detached homes.
So, whilst there are some differences between the supply of individual types of property in High Wycombe (e.g. terraced vs detached houses), the overall reduction in the number (i.e. supply) of properties for sale can only mean one thing, when there is a reduction in the supply of anything and demand remains stable, this will mean continued upward pressure on High Wycombe house prices in the short term (although I suspect there will be some downward pressure on High Wycombe terraced properties with that level of increase in supply – maybe some interesting ‘opportunities’ for all you High Wycombe landlords?).
Will overall demand for High Wycombe property continue to be stable?
Lockdown 3.0 will probably cause another wave of High Wycombe people who want to move home (thus increasing demand). The last property crash (the Credit Crunch in 2009) was caused by a huge increase in the supply of properties for sale when people lost their jobs and interest rates were much higher. People couldn’t afford their mortgages and so dumped their homes onto the market all at the same time – causing an oversupply of property for sale and hence house prices dropped.
Compared to the 633 properties for sale in High Wycombe today, at the height of the Credit Crunch in January 2009, there were an eyewatering 886 properties for sale in High Wycombe.
It was this increase in the level of property for sale in High Wycombe (mirrored across the whole of the UK) that caused property prices to drop between 16% and 19% (depending on the type of property) in High Wycombe over the 12 to 14 months of the Credit Crunch. So, as long as there is no sudden change in the demand or supply of properties and interest rates remain at their current ultra-low level – the medium-term prospects for the High Wycombe property market look good.
If you are a High Wycombe homeowner or a High Wycombe buy to let landlord and want to chat about the future of the High Wycombe property market – do drop me a line.