With most Darlington families home schooling their children in lockdown and the forthcoming Stamp Duty Holiday deadline on the 31st March 2021, less Darlington properties have been coming onto the Darlington property market since the New Year. This has prompted a 9% drop in the supply of Darlington homes for sale compared to September 2020.
For the past couple of decades, like clockwork, Darlingtonestate 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 Darlingtonproperty market.
Throughout the summer, the number of properties coming onto the market in Darlington steadily rose to its peak in September 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 Darlingtonproperties 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 Darlington properties on the market in autumn was 789 – that now stands at 715.
The first lockdown caused many Darlington 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 Darlington home movers also trying to take advantage of the Stamp Duty Holiday to save themselves money on this tax.
This meant many more Darlington properties came onto the market (more than a “normal” year) in the last 6 months of 2020. However, those Darlington 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 Darlingtonhome on the market (and are probably by now sold stcrushing to get their house purchases through before the deadline on the tax savings).
So, how does Darlington compare to other property markets, and what does this reduction in Darlington properties on the market mean to Darlington homeowners and landlords?
There are 24% less properties on the market today in Darlington, 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 Londoncompared 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 …
6% less detached homes for sale in Darlington than a year ago, whilst there are 42% less terraced homes.
So, whilst there are some differences between the supply of individual types of property in Darlington (e.g. detached vs terraced 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 Darlington house prices in the short term.
Will overall demand for Darlington property continue to be stable?
Lockdown 3.0 will probably cause another wave of Darlington 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 715 properties for sale in Darlington today, at the height of the Credit Crunch in January 2009, there were an eye watering 1,828 properties for sale in Darlington.
It was this increase in the level of property for sale in Darlington (mirrored across the whole of the UK) that caused property prices to drop between 16% and 19% (depending on the type of property) in Darlington over the 12 to 14 months of the Credit Crunch. So, as long 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 Darlington property market look good.
If you are a Darlington homeowner or a Darlington buy to let landlord and want to chat about the future of the Darlingtonproperty market – do drop me a line.
Paul Shoulder MARLA
Tel: 01325 523756