February 5, 2021

Selling

12% Drop in Hemel Hempstead Homes ‘For Sale’ in Last 4 Months

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What does this mean for Hemel Hempstead property owners?

With most Hemel Hempstead families home schooling their children in lockdown and the forthcoming Stamp Duty Holiday deadline on the 31st March 2021, less Hemel Hempstead properties have been coming onto the Hemel Hempstead property market since the new year. This has prompted a 12% drop in the supply of Hemel Hempstead homes for sale compared to October 2020.

For the past couple of decades, like clockwork, Hemel Hempstead 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 Hemel Hempstead property market.

Throughout the summer, the number of properties coming onto the market in Hemel Hempstead 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 Hemel Hempstead 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 Hemel Hempstead properties on the market in autumn was 1,055 –  that now stands at 920.

The first lockdown caused many Hemel Hempstead 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 Hemel Hempstead home movers also trying to take advantage of the Stamp Duty Holiday to save themselves money on this tax.

This meant many more Hemel Hempstead properties came onto the market (more than a “normal” year) in the last 6 months of 2020. However, those Hemel Hempstead 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 Hemel Hempstead 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 Hemel Hempstead compare to other property markets, and what does this reduction in Hemel Hempstead properties on the market mean to Hemel Hempstead homeowners and landlords?

There are 27% more properties on the market today in Hemel Hempstead, 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).

However, the complete opposite is taking place in London. 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…

37% more terraced properties for sale in Hemel Hempstead than a year ago, whilst there are 8% less detached homes.

So, whilst there are some differences between the supply of individual types of property in Hemel Hempstead (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 Hemel Hempstead house prices in the short term (although I suspect there will be some downward pressure on Hemel Hempstead terraced with that level of increase in supply – maybe some interesting ‘opportunities’ for all you Hemel Hempstead landlords?).

Will overall demand for Hemel Hempstead property continue to be stable?

Lockdown 3.0 will probably cause another wave of Hemel Hempstead 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 920 properties for sale in Hemel Hempstead today, at the height of the Credit Crunch in January 2009, there were an eyewatering 1,309 properties for sale in Hemel Hempstead.

It was this increase in the level of property for sale in Hemel Hempstead (mirrored across the whole of the UK) that caused property prices to drop between 16% and 19% (depending on the type of property) in Hemel Hempstead 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 Hemel Hempstead property market look good.

If you are a Hemel Hempstead homeowner or a Hemel Hempstead buy to let landlord and want to chat about the future of the Hemel Hempstead property market – do drop me a line.

Ronnie

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