Roll the clock back to April 2020, and major financial economists and property market commenters were sounding the alarm. The very best-case scenario was a 5% drop in property values by the end of the year, and most were in the 10% to 15% range. They forewarned the Covid-19 stimulated recession would trim tens of thousands of pounds off the value of St Neots homes. Yet, the PE19 property market seems to be doing quite well?
What happened to the St Neots house price crash that wasn't?
I remember what the Treasury said in 2016 about a leave vote on the Brexit referendum. Their considered opinion was that house prices would drop by 18% if the country voted to leave the EU, so let’s see what that would have done to St Neots house prices if it had taken place and then what has actually happened in the last four and a half years …
Predicted Drop by
Uplift in Value
% Increase since
For most of us, owning a property is about having somewhere to live rather than about investing. Nevertheless, once you’re on the ‘property ladder’, it cannot be denied that it is beneficial to know, as a homeowner, that you have made a healthy investment in your home and that the value will rise to alleviate the ache of trading up market — or down market when you retire.
Those St Neots homeowners who own detached homes would have made an average of £61,700 profit, a rise of 16.8% or a weekly profit of £237.31 — calculated between the price they would have paid in the summer of 2016 and the price they would sell for today.
Weekly profit for all property types in St Neots since the Brexit vote
• St Neots detached homes have a profit of £237.31 per week
• St Neots semi-detached homes have a profit of £182.69 per week
• St Neots terraced homes/town houses have a profit of £134.23 per week
• St Neots apartments have a profit of £115.38 per week
Whilst it is no surprise that the property market boom was inspired by the Chancellor’s Stamp Duty holiday, this is not exclusively the Chancellor’s achievement. The rise in demand was also due to the huge shift in the way St Neots homeowners see their homes because of the time spent indoors during lockdown as well as the three ‘D’s that have been with us throughout 2020, debt, divorce and death.
Many people can try to predict what will happen – yet none of us really know what will actually happen to the St Neots property market in 2021.
So, what of 2021?
It’s true that the country will see high unemployment, yet at the same time, we have ultra-low interest rates. And, on average over the last 20 years, we have only built 150,000 houses per year as a nation, but needed 300,000 per year to keep up with demand i.e. people living longer, immigration and changes in the way households are made up.
Covid was a black swan event and I believe the fallout from that is the dramatic change in how people in St Neots see their home and how they live their lives.
Instead of making predictions, nothing can get away from property market fundamentals, which have driven price booms on the back of high demand for homes and low supply (i.e. properties coming onto the market) and price crashes on the back of over-supply and low demand.
Only time will tell if, in 2021, our property market will see a flood of properties coming to the market because of debt, or the demand for larger homes continues to rise unabated.
Please do let me know your thoughts on the matter.