Britain Gets Moving: Unexpected Mini-Boom Pushes House Prices to Record High
Who would have thought that after four months of lockdown, the housing market would experience such dramatic growth that would make it one of the most competitive markets in recent years?
As soon as the lockdown restrictions started in Britain, thousands of property sales were put on hold and doom-laden predictions of a house price crash were everywhere. But fast-forward two months, the housing market shows an entirely different picture.
Pent-buyer demand combined with a new desire to move has been steadily pushing prices up driving them to a new record high. According to Rightmove’s latest market trends and analysis report, the average asking price of properties coming to the market in Britain is £320,265 – 2.4% higher than in March (£312,625), just before the pandemic put the brakes on the housing market. At 3.7% the annual rate of increase is the highest since December 2016.
With these figures in mind, it is clear that the post-lockdown property market has picked up pace. But to what may this growth be attributed?
Because of the lockdown restrictions, people have started reappraising their homes and lifestyles leading to a growing demand for homes with gardens and working-from-home space. According to fresh data, only in June searches for homes with a garden has increased by more than 100% compared to June 2019.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst commented: “Since the market reopened, we’ve seen a huge rise in demand for homes with a garden as buyers place greater importance on outdoor space.”
Rightmove’s report captures this surge in buyer demand showing an incredible 75% increase in year-on-year buyer enquiries since the start of July – even before the Chancellor’s announcement of the stamp duty cut.
Obviously, this early show of confidence was further boosted by the temporary stamp duty holiday, which provides buyers with the great opportunity to save up to £15,000 in tax on homes costing less than £500,000 until March 31, 2021. Indeed, the report reveals a 35% increase in the number of sales agreed in the five days after the announcement (between the 8th and 12th July) compared to the same days a year ago. This is considerably higher than the 15% increase in sales agreed numbers in England measured in the month of June before the announcement. Miles Shipside, of Rightmove argues that these figures are the earliest indicator of house price trends.
He also noted: “There is a window of opportunity for sellers to come to market and to find a buyer who is tempted by the stamp duty savings. Although March next year may sound like a long time away, in reality sellers need to find a buyer before Christmas, to allow a further three months for completion of the legal process to beat the deadline”
Jason Cook, director of Park Estate sales at FHP Living, says the housing market remains solid despite early predictions of an impending doom. “House prices made a surprising rebound in July, buyer enquiries are through the roof and house sales are being agreed within a blink of an eye. We experience this remarkably quick shift in the market every day”, he added. “Just in the Park Estate, we have recently sold three houses in excess of 3 million in less than two months”.
And concluded: “This proves that the common misconception that the market is slowly dying is shown to be ungrounded and if buyer demand keeps holding the way it is, prices will certainly rise further”.
Looking to take advantage of this honeymoon period to move house? Take the first step today by getting your FREE One to One Market Appraisal or speak to one of our expert agents if you need any advice on selling your home. With years of experience and a wealth of local knowledge, we are here to ensure your home will live up to its true selling potential.