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Will house prices crash now the stamp duty holiday has ended?

Will house prices crash now the stamp duty holiday has ended?
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Have you been waiting for house prices to fall before buying? If so then it will be welcome news that house prices finally fell by 0.5% in June 2021, according to the Halifax, after a long period of house price growth. Figures show that house prices have risen by 8.8% in the past year, so the latest fall is relatively small. But will house prices crash in 2021 now the stamp duty holiday has ended? Should you wait to buy, or is now a good time?

8 reasons why house prices might continue to rise

There were unusual reasons for the recent slight drop in house prices. Many people rushed to buy in the first half of the year before the stamp duty holiday, on houses costing more than £250,000, came to an end. This meant that there were slightly fewer buyers than normal in June, leading to a dip in prices.

But will house prices crash in 2021 going forward? It is difficult to make predictions, but there are a number of reasons why demand for houses may remain strong for the rest of the year. Strong demand tends to lead to a rise in prices, rather than a fall.  Here are 8 of those reasons:

  1. Interest rates are still at a historic low. The base rate is currently 0.1% and many experts think it is unlikely to go up much in 2021. There are still plenty of good mortgage deals around.
  2. Moving house has become a priority for many people following the Covid pandemic. They need more space to work from home or want houses with outside space. This is fuelling demand.
  3. There is still a shortage of houses on the market in many areas. This means that houses are snapped up quickly if they do come onto the market, again fuelling demand and leading to price increases.
  4. Some estate agents have reported that people are putting off moving until they have had both vaccines. This suggests that demand may increase in the summer and autumn.
  5. The new government scheme to help buyers who need 95% mortgages may encourage more buyers who might otherwise not be able to afford to move.
  6. Many people have been able to save more during the Covid crisis. This may encourage more people to move as money saved on holidays and season tickets has been squirrelled away to pay for flat deposits or house-moving costs.
  7. Costs for building work have gone up during the pandemic as many people have spent savings on extensions and other building work. This means it may be more economical for people to move rather than stay and extend.
  8. There may be another spike in demand in the late summer as there is still a stamp duty holiday on houses costing between £125,000 and £250,000 until October. Depending on the price of smaller houses in the area you live, this means that first-time buyers may rush to move over the late summer.

Look at personal factors to decide whether to buy now or wait

Despite these factors, it is always difficult to predict what will happen with the housing market. Will house prices crash in 2021 or will they continue to rise? Only time will tell.  Ultimately the main factors to consider when buying a house are personal to you. Buying a house is a practical as well as a financial decision. If you want move and you can afford to do so, then it’s probably best to take the next step rather than waiting for a crash that may never happen.

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