OLIVER MILES looks ahead to a busy spring in the property market.

In the wake of Covid 19 the UK experienced an exodus of urban dwellers to the countryside and seaside.
Escaping the city to the countryside peace and the clear air of the seaside has been especially attractive when working practices have altered so much with lockdown.

Will this movement last? In a post-vaccination world there may be a gradual drifting back to the pleasures and convenience of big town or city life. But for many the change in lifestyle is now locked in. Roots have been put down in earth rather than concrete.
Despite the end to the stamp duty holiday deadline looming on March 31st there is little or no relaxation in demand. Lockdown 3 has brought even more buyers to the market and house price rises have reflected this.
Although many ‘exodus’ purchases have been made to change main residence. However, a good proportion of transactions have been for holiday homes with a view to longer-term permanent living through career change, altered lifestyle or retirement. This is clever thinking as any potential rises in capital gains tax could favour greater investment in principal residences, rather than second homes.
The pandemic has affected the property market in ways that we never expected, and we imagine it will continue to do so for quite a while. Unwelcome, horrifying and shattering as Covid 19 is, for many it has also unexpectedly proved to be the catalyst for a change of direction.