Fri 04 Jun 2021
The property market has continued to stay strong during the pandemic and new research has revealed town centres are becoming locations of choice.
A combination of government schemes and changing tastes of first-time buyers (FTBs) has seen town and city centres become favourites for those getting onto the property ladder.
An area like Maidstone, for example, has wide appeal as it’s a thriving town centre with historic charm as well as being a key commuter hub.
Why is there an increase in buyer demand for town and city centres?
According to research from Rightmove, buyer demand in city centres is up by 35%. There has been a shift in demand from bigger family homes to flats. The biggest jump in demand for flats is seen when comparing the data from April with January, an increase of 39%.
Buyers seeking out properties in town and city centres in a post-pandemic Britain could be due to lockdown restrictions easing. Urban locations all across the country have seen an increase in buyer demand for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. York city centre has seen a 76% increase, Norwich has experienced a 62% jump and Sheffield’s buyer demand has risen by 57%.
Lockdown restrictions easing has meant people are venturing back into their local high streets and enjoying the excitement of their city centres. Property prices in city and town centres have remained solid despite the pandemic, not falling rapidly as many had predicted.
The increasing demand for houses in these areas is likely to see property prices rising strongly again in the short to medium-term – a boon for property sellers.
How are first-time buyers behind the city centre demand?
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, a new government scheme was introduced to help the property market. In April, the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme was launched, aiming to allow more first-time buyers (FTBs) to get onto the property ladder with a much smaller deposit.
A combination of changing priorities (with a shift back to town and city centre living) and the 95% mortgage scheme has made properties in the city centres attractive and attainable for many FTBs.
Rightmove’s study on FTBs found that 17% of them planned to use the 95% mortgage scheme or are already using it. FTBs were also able to save more due to the lockdowns and 60% said they were able to save more money towards their deposit.
According to Rightmove’s study, 53% of FTBs who were able to save more money said this meant they would put down a bigger deposit. Over a third of FTBs who could save more cash said this meant they could buy sooner than they originally planned. FTBs are also not looking to move to quieter areas, with only 10% of them seeking a move to the countryside or coast.
Tim Bannister, a housing expert at Rightmove, says: “These are early signs but they certainly point to some good news for city centres across Great Britain, with a number of agents now telling me they’ve seen a marked uptick in demand from first-time buyers, and they’re managing to sell city centre flats more quickly than in earlier months of the year.”
How can sellers in Maidstone benefit from buyer demand for town centres?
With an increasing demand for houses in town centres, those looking to sell in the Maidstone area are in a great position. Maidstone is Kent’s largest town, and its county town too, and offers a bustling centre, buzzing nightlife and an array of shops.
If you’re looking to sell a flat in the Maidstone area that could also be an added advantage with the substantial rise in buyers wanting flats.
Here at Eden Estates,we cover Maidstone and its surrounding areas and can help you with the selling of your property.
Working closely with an experienced, knowledgeable estate agent – one which understands the area you are selling in intimately – can help to ensure a sale goes off without a hitch, with issues resolved amicably and efficiently.
As an experienced sales agent working in Maidstone and surrounding areas, we can help you to get the most from your sale, even in these complicated times. To find out more, contact us today.