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UK housing market continues to boom

Houses are spending just days on the market

Originally posted: 6th September, 2021

UK housing market remains buoyant

The UK housing market is defying all predictions of a crash in house prices despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with the property market booming.

Houses are spending just days on the market, with demand high and the amount of available stock low.

The Guardian reports: “While the property merry-go-round screeched to a temporary halt during the first lockdown early last year, the pause did not last. With sales barely slowing over the summer, the data is clear: along with technology, real estate has emerged as one of the pandemic’s boom sectors.”

It’s predicted that with the limited amount of housing stock on the market, houses prices could continue to surprise on the upside.

Preston Baker’s own figures show housing market remains buoyant

Preston Baker’s own residential sales figures and statistics for August 2021 show a healthy market. Our average monthly figures across all our residential sales in Leeds last month are:

  • 105% of asking price
  • £4,194 sale agreed over asking
  • 9 days to sell
  • 9 viewings
  • 3 offers

Many houses are still attracting substantial offers over asking and selling quickly.

Mortgage lender Nationwide’s measure of annual house price rises showed its second-largest monthly rise in 15 years in August. Prices were up 11% on a year ago, it said, and remain around 13% over pre-pandemic levels, according to official data.

Record low interest rates, a demand for more space caused by the pandemic, and the government incentives, have resulted in the 13% average UK house price rise since the start of the crisis 18 months ago. It seems that only an interest rate rise by the Bank of England could have any major impact on reversing the trend at the moment and this seems unlikely for some time.

The housing market today is very different to the one in May last year. During the first lockdown buyers were unable to view properties other than online, sellers were left in a quandary and many sales fell through.

Then the government extended the help-to-buy scheme for first-time buyers and cut stamp duty on homes worth less than £500,000. August 2020 figures showed a major turnaround, with mortgage approvals jumping from 66,300 in July to 84,700, their highest level since October 2007 (according to figures from the Bank of England).

Demand remains high for properties and there is an acute shortage of homes for sale. According to the latest Zoopla House Price Index for July 2021, the number of properties for sale is at its lowest level for over six years and is predicted to remain low well into 2022.

The result of this mismatch in supply and demand has caused a sellers’ market, especially for 3 and 4-bedroom family homes, and properties priced up to £350,000, which is pushing prices up as homeowners can ask the top price for their homes.

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