This Week in Property: The Latest News (14th January 2022)

Take a look at what our CEO Gill Fielding has to say about this week’s property news…

Housing hokey kokey

We’ve heard a lot during the pandemic of people leaving larger towns to live in the countryside but actually the figures don’t confirm that picture. Apparently 70% of people selling properties in the cities moved… to a city! And 79% of people moving from a town or suburb moved to a town or suburb. It was only the country dwellers who seemed to be less certain as 46% of country dwellers moved to the country: 45% moved to a town or suburb and 9% moved to a city. We’ve also had the anecdotal news that many people who did move out of the city during the lockdowns are now moving back as the country wasn’t quite for them. Both stories just prove that people live where they want to and no pandemic really changes that. There may be some short term alteration in circumstances but eventually the flow levels off again. There are two lessons I gain from all this: firstly if you’re a property owner don’t move long term based on short term criteria and secondly, if you’re a property investor then as long as you’ve bought right in the first place you can always ride out short term trends.

Pandemic Profit

It’s easy to believe that everything that has happened over the last two years has been negative but there is some good news. Apparently each household in the UK saved an average of £412 during the pandemic and since the start of 2020. This means that the total household savings are now about £1.7 trillion and total monthly savings are running at about £11.5 billion which is compared to an average of £4.6 billion per month for the two prior years. which is all fantastic news and well done to everyone who has managed to save something in the last two years as we all know that money can protect us when times are bad. What I find weird is the mentality of people who only save when there’s a problem. Ideally we need to save when all is well and then the savings protect us from any future problem. Saving during the pandemic was affectively too late for many and saving regularly during the good times helps us through the bad. Hopefully many of these new savers would have now grasped this lesson and will continue to save going forward and not just blow all their money when things get back to a more normal life.

What’s not spending?

I read today about a movement to not spend in January. Now I’d heard of dry January but not the no spend January but what a great idea! Apparently one woman, Nicola Richardson, has started a group of January non spenders and by that she means no excess spending. Obviously you have to pay your rent and eat the basics but no spending on take aways, coffees, booze, going out or activities and by cutting those out she saves £800 in one month and she uses that to overpay her mortgage a little and to invest the rest for the future. That’s a fantastic strategy and will ensure that Nicola and her family are financially free before they know it and will build up a sizeable nest egg for their retirement. What Nicola has realised is that these small actions make a big difference with her money over time. Most people believe that it won’t make a difference but £800 per year over say 25 years will turn onto £86.545  and I’m sure we’d all like an additional £86k. What is absolutely staggering is that if Nicola did this every month rather than just January, her money saved would turn into £1,009,712 over 25 years. I think we’d all give up coffee and booze for a million wouldn’t we?

31 is the magic number for 2021

I have two passions: maths and money and so I’m always intrigued when the two subjects come together as they did in 2021 with the number 31! Apparently the average time it took to sell a house in 2021 was 31 days and the percentage of homes that sold over the asking price was 31%. These are staggering stats. In ‘normal’ times it takes nearer to 4 months to sell a house rather than 4 weeks and this speed just shows that the pandemic may not have had much impact for everyone. If you want to buy or sell a house there isn’t much that stops you and motivation is key and can overcome all obstacles. Then again in ‘normal’ times most prices sell for just below the asking – not above! This statistic shows how fast the market was moving and prices rose at their highest for several years and of course that means if you really want to buy anything you’ve got to bid high. Both figures tell us that the property market is as buoyant as ever. Go 31!!

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