Hot property! Top trends for 2021 in Devon
Thinking of upping sticks in the New Year? Take a peek through Muddy's crystal ball with help from a pair of ace property gurus.
2020 may not have been good for much but it was a bumper year for house sales, according to Devon property gurus, Ed and Grace Jephson of Stacks Property Finders.
The pair, who have 33 years in the property biz between them, and who have recently joined forces as awesome husband and wife team, seek out homes in the South Hams, Dartmoor and the wider Devon region worth £500k and up, including covetable farmhouses, Georgian townhouses, rural barn conversions and waterside homes. (And Muddy wants to live in them all please.)
What they don’t know about the property market in Devon isn’t worth knowing so Muddy pinned the pair down on Zoom to take a peek through their crystal ball.
So, 2020 was a bit busy then?
Indeed! In just three months last summer, three year’s worth of properties changed hands in Devon. It was frenetic. It wasn’t just Covid causing a massive migration from the city to the country, it was boosted by the fact people can work from home so much more easily now thanks to 4G and better technology.
The demographic is changing too. Where it used to be people waiting till they are older to retire here, now we are seeing families with young kids. Cleaner air, beaches, and a better cheaper lifestyle. We did it ourselves, moving from London to the South Hams with our daughter.
Do you think things will slow down in 2021?
It will be really busy from the off. There will be no usual waiting around until spring for house sales to start because there is still huge demand and low housing stock. Plus, the stamp duty holiday for houses under £500k ends on 31 March 2021.
Will house prices go up or down?
Homes worth £500k and over will hold firm with the mid to upper market robust. The lower end of the market may be more susceptible to the economic impact of the Covid though.
Name an up-and-coming area to get on our radar.
We’re finding buyers are more open to inland areas, like Ashburton, where you get more for your money than on the coast. It’s a pretty market town, with a beach less than 25 minutes away, right on the doorstep of the moors, and with excellent access to A38 Devon Expressway for Exeter and Plymouth and a good deli, nice indie shops and a lovely bakery. (Ashburton was one of Muddy’s Top 200 Best Places to Live in 2020).
And if it has to be waterside?
Salcombe is super-sexy with fabulous eateries and beaches either side of the estuary but it is more of a second-home destination. If it’s a functioning year-round town with a good community you’re after, either Dartmouth or Kingsbridge. Kingsbridge has a great school too.
What’s the main benefit of using a property finder?
Sellers have someone to represent their interests but as a buyer there is no-one. A property finder creates that distance between you and the estate agent, who can sniff out desperation or if you’ve set your heart on a house like a shot! It also fast-tracks you to the best locations and helps you beat the competition in a fierce market. It takes out all the stress of booking viewings and shields you from the aggravations, and because any property finder worth their salt will be a brilliant negotiator, the balance of probability is you will save the cost of hiring the finder and more.
If Covid boosted the Devon market, will a vaccine put things in reverse?
We’ll see less panic buying and a less frenetic market, but the cat is out of the bag with people having more confidence in working from home and advances in technology meaning more families are able to fulfil a dream of living and working remotely without having to wait to retire.
Won’t the migration from city to rural decrease as people return back to the office?
It’s a new world, with clever companies realising that if they want to attract good people they have to offer more working from home. Totnes is under three hours from London, so if you only have to go to London once or twice a week, it’s a great option.
Finally – and just being nosey now – it’s a brave married couple who work together too. Any tips?
Good internet, so you can both work at the same time, and good childcare. Plus, all the usuals – mutual respect, listening to each other and heeding their advice. And if we’re on a client Zoom call, tapping each other’s leg under the table if we don’t agree with each other! And good childcare: we learnt that one very quickly.
Looking for your idyllic bolthole in Devon?
Grace and Ed specialise in finding coastal and rural properties in Devon, Dartmoor and the South Hams, ranging between £500k and £2 million, including waterside homes, countryside farmhouses and holiday-let investments.
Go give them a call at Stacks Property Finders on 01803 732128; Grace 07508966975 or Ed 07711724939.