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  • Writer's pictureInvestment Synergy Team

With thanks to the Sunday Times (well, maybe 'thanks' is the wrong word?)

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

It’s been another week of housing market frenzy and, to be honest, it’s getting a teeny-weeny bit boring. How much of a good thing can we all take?

Last summer “the experts” forecast the stamp duty holiday would fuel a housing market revival lasting about as long as Boris Johnson’s mini-moon. Instead we’re 11 months on and the holiday is still in full Club 18-30 Ibiza mode, with overexcited buyers teetering at the edge of the pool acting as if their recent jabs contained chemicals other than vaccines.

We’re delighted people are changing homes and lifestyles but we’re running out of superlatives — this past week saw another bundle.

Annual house price inflation hit a seven-year high of 10.9 per cent according to Nationwide, with the typical home now a record £242,832. Meanwhile, posh little St Mawes in the far southwest saw house prices soar an eye-watering (not to mention wallet-emptying) 48 per cent in a year, revealed a Halifax survey.

To cap it all, the Surrey agency Curchods sold a £2.3 million home purely on the strength of a 3D virtual online viewing without an in-person, look-in-the-corners-in-case-there’s-damp inspection. This prompted two exclamations — another record price thanks to the use of revolutionary sales technology — making it superlative squared.

Then there’s Cornwall, the poster county for the frenetic pandemic market. Once, way back in a totally different time (actually 2019), it had house prices lagging behind much of the rest of the UK. Now it’s far out in front, with little sign of stopping.

“If you see something you like, jump in the car immediately. Waiting 24 hours will probably take you out of the running. The idea of lining up four properties to view at the weekend is not an option,” says Clare Coode of Stacks Property Search, a buying agency in Cornwall.

Such is the hyperactive enthusiasm for the South West that Jonathan Cunliffe, an agent based in Falmouth, so at the heart of the coming week’s G7 shenanigans, admits that some new buyers are, shall we say, allowing their hearts to rule their heads.

He says: “There are lots of buyers but many don’t know what they want, partly as they’re new to Cornwall. Some are coming as they can’t get to their Mediterranean haunts, so time will tell whether they stay long-term. It could depend on the weather this summer.”

Yet like the inevitability of several more years of Bridgerton on Netflix, there seems no end to this box-set of housing market madness. It’s had four seasons already (work it out) and has just been commissioned for this summer at least. Will it really end in the autumn?

One person says yes. “More supply is starting to come which will redress the balance. We therefore expect house price growth will slow after the summer,” says Tom Bill, Knight Frank’s head of research, who believes property inflation will halve to 5 per cent by year end.

So far he’s a lone voice. More typical is Zoopla, which has surveyed existing owners and found 40 per cent unhappy with their home because of too little space and dodgy locations. They’re keen to move now, it says.

If there’s a new torrent of buyers, wheel out more superlatives: we’ll probably hit another eye-watering record average house price within days.

Investment Synergy - The investment world is in a state of flux and unpredictable enough as it is ….. without the craziness and looming financial precipice of an overheated and inflated property market caused by panic, ill judged and / or irrational buying and fuelled by so called industry experts / commentators (seemingly they all appear to have an interest in selling real estate?!) …. Surely life needs to stabilise and be on an even keel during this period of reflection, evaluation and adjustment?

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