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South Coast residential property market review 2020

South Coast residential property market review 2020

As this rather tumultuous year draws to a close, we catch up with Rob Hurlstone, Head of Residential General Practice at Daniells Harrison.

And catching up isn’t easy as Rob has never been busier. The South of England housing market is booming, with an unprecedented level of requests for both residential building surveys and RICS Homebuyers reports as well as residential valuations.

Rob explains some of the reasons behind this:

Down from London effect

Or as we put it, the DFL effect. There’s no doubt that the pandemic has seen people’s worlds turn upside down. Whether they’ve changed or lost their job, been furloughed, changed their working pattern or re-evaluated their lifestyle, we’ve seen many people looking to move out of London to be in more rural surroundings or nearer the coast. As David Wiggins said previously in our general market roundup;

“people want to live somewhere they like if they are working from home”.

Across Hampshire, Dorset, Sussex and the Isle of Wight, there has been a demand for all types of property but particularly those with more space or larger gardens where current London residents are finding they get more for their money.

Stamp duty holiday

Figures from HMRC show that the Stamp duty holiday pushed residential transactions to four-year high in October 2020. Whilst this has certainly prompted an increase in demand for properties below the £500,000 threshold, we have still seen increased demand for the £500,000 plus market despite not benefiting from these temporary changes.

Increase in residential valuations

The sadder story behind some of the increased level of activity in our residential team, is the increase in request to carry out residential valuation reports for matrimonial disputes or probate purposes.

Some quirkier properties

Rob and the team have been surveying houses and residential property of all shapes and sizes, from a 300 year old Grade II barn with a perfect example of a traditional jowl joint which got Rob very excited (see image), to a stunning example of a concrete house in the million pound plus price bracket. (Concrete houses are not easy properties to get a mortgage on due to potential structural integrity issues).

traditional jowl joint

The photo below is a perfect example of why as a prospective buyer, you would carry out a residential building survey for properties of a non-standard construction.  An oil tank located right next to a traditional thatch roof. What could possibly go wrong? Whilst the risks are obvious to all, the inclusion of it within the survey with recommendations for remedial action means the buyer has a point of negotiation and can ensure their home is safe to live in long term.

oil tank thatch cottage building survey

What next for the South of England residential market?

With the continuing pandemic (but hope for a successful vaccine) and the exit from the EU on 31st December, the market is impossible to predict. But the good news is that our team of surveyors have been able to continue with their normal business throughout the pandemic, with full COVID safety measures in place. We are ready for whatever 2021 throws at us!  Surely it can’t be as mad as 2020…can it?


For more details on our residential surveying services and to book a survey, please see here.