>2020 review of the St Neots property market

Looking back at the St Neots property market for 2020, it certainly can be seen as a frenetic game of two halves, albeit with a very long half time in spring.

Between the General Election in mid-December and Christmas, many St Neots agents saw an unusually higher uplift in activity in the property market just as we were getting ready for Christmas 2019. 


Yet once the New Year festivities were out of the way, that pre-Christmas uplift in the local property market was nothing when compared to the bang on Monday 6th January 2020 with the fabled ‘Boris Bounce.’

January, February and most of March were amazing months, with pent up demand from people wanting to move following the Brexit uncertainty of 2018/9 being released in the first few months of 2020.

Then the pandemic hit in mid-March and our local property market was put on ice for nearly three months (as was almost everyone else’s lives). 

Yet at the end of spring, it was one of the first sectors of the economy to be re-opened. Every economist predicted house price drops in the order of 10% in the best-case scenario and 25% in the worst, yet nothing could be further from the truth.

When the lockdown restrictions were lifted from the property market, those three months allowed St Neots homeowners to re-evaluate their relationships with their homes. 

The true worth of an extra bedroom (for an office) became priceless, as people working from home were having to take calls and work from the dining room table. St Neots properties with gardens and/or close to green spaces all of a sudden became even more desirable. 

More fuel was put on the fire with the introduction of the Stamp Duty Holiday. Buyers could save thousands of pounds in tax if they moved before the end of March 2021. 

This changed the local property market and now …

Property values in St Neots are set at 1.9% lower today compared to a year ago.

The fallout of that increased demand for a new home meant those St Neots properties on the market coming out of lockdown in early summer with those extra rooms and gardens were snapped up in days for ‘full’ price. 

Buyers were having to spend their Stamp Duty savings on paying top dollar for the home of their dreams. 

Yet the increased number of properties coming onto the market in the late summer quenched a lot of that demand and the prices being achieved became a little more reasonable and realistic. 

This increased the number of properties sold, subject to contract, so much that nationally, almost two thirds more homes have been sold (STC) than would be expected at this time of year!

However, as we all know, just because a property is sold (STC), it doesn’t mean the property is actually sold. 

The number of people who have actually moved home in the last 12 months in St Neots, is as you would expect, much lower. 

On average, over the last 10 years, 825 St Neots homes have changed hands per year, compared to only 306 St Neots homes in the last 12 months. 



So, what is a property in St Neots worth today? 

Drilling down into four types of homes, some interesting numbers appear. 

Looking at the table, you can see what the average property types are worth locally, and within each type, the average price paid in the last 12 months

For clarification, if the average price paid for the last 12 months is higher than the overall average, that means even higher priced property in that type has sold in the last year compared to the overall average – and vice versa)  










 

Average Overall Value Today

Average Price Paid in the Last Year

St Neots Detached

£461,940 

£408,470 

St Neots Semi-Detached

£281,250 

£290,170 

St Neots Town House / Terraced

£237,370 

£225,840 

St Neots Apartments/ Flats

£191,460 

£171,130 



Of course, these are the overall average values. To give you an idea of what St Neots properties are selling by their square footage, these are those averages values:



Average Value per sq. ft (internal)

St Neots Detached

£261.36 

St Neots Semi-Detached

£255.44 

St Neots Town House / Terraced

£234.74 

St Neots Apartments/ Flats

£236.55 






What about 2021? 

Normally, when the Country’s GDP drops like a stone (as it did in the Summer of 2020), the property market follows in unison. Yet, as the economy went south, the house price growth and activity in the property market didn’t. This would appear to be quite a remarkable outcome given the economic framework.

What is becoming clear is that as far as the St Neots property market is concerned, our time in lockdown has been spent reflecting on what we really want from our homes and the normal rules just don’t apply. 

We’ll need to watch this space!