National statistics showing that the housing market is thriving are reflected in Swindon, Wiltshire and The Cotswolds, according to independent mortgage company TED Mortgages.
Founder Tom Brennan and fellow director, Chris Blackwell have recruited two new team members over the past few months to cope with demand - and there is no sign of interest slowing.
Tom, who lives in Swindon, said: "The market is very hot at the moment and it's not due solely to measures taken by the government during the height of the pandemic with stamp duty, though that has helped. I believe this extraordinary year we've experienced has prompted people to make different life choices around working from home, where they live and what they want from life."
His business partner Chris agrees.
"When the pandemic kicked in last year, it was scary, we had no idea what the impact on the housing market would be; however, this is one area of business which has been positive - and that's before the government has even introduced its promised mortgage guarantee scheme which was announced in the recent Budget."
According to a survey published this week (19 April) by Rightmove, house prices jumped by 2.1 per cent in the last month and the average home price is now £327,797. It is only the second time in the past five years that there has been a rise of more than two per cent in a month.
Rightmove puts this down to the extension to the stamp duty holiday and a shortage of available properties to buy. It estimates the average time now for a property to be sold once on the market is currently 45 days.
According to TED Mortgages, which operates mainly in Swindon, Wiltshire and the Cotswolds, there are some local trends emerging:
- People moving out from London to The Cotswolds, particularly pretty villages such as South Cerney, due to working from home and great transport links.
- People moving up the ladder for more space, either for more indoor space to create an office, or outdoor space to create an office in their garden.
- First-time buyers taking the plunge as many banks are now offering 95 per cent mortgages ahead of the promised government-backed scheme.
- Moving closer to their family - people who moved to cities or big towns for work are now moving back because they can work flexibly.
- Some buyers are so desperate to move that they are paying over the asking price.
Chris said: "We’ve found some buyers are fed up with the four walls they've been looking at for the past year. We're aware of one buyer who paid £5,000 over the asking price to secure the property they wanted which had been on the market for less than 48 hours."
Tom said the accessibility of Swindon and the Cotswolds to London is also playing its part.
"Lockdown has taught many companies that their staff can work from home and still be productive. This part of the UK has great transport links via the train network. Also there was a slowing of the market prior to Brexit as no one was sure what that might mean. Now people are making important decisions around their own homes.
"The beginning of 2021 has been really busy. The property and mortgage business has certainly been helped by the government initiatives such as the five per cent deposit scheme and the extension to the stamp-duty holiday."
TED Mortgages is an independent, fee-free, certified mortgage brokers that will work with its customers with a 'whole of market' approach tailored to each person's circumstances in order to help its customers understand all their mortgage and protection options.
* Picture shows Chris Blackwell, co-director of TED Mortgages and taken by Neil Moore of Moore Photographics.
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