There is no disputing that the property market has surged since the unexpected announcement to relax restrictions during the pandemic in May 2020. Both the sales and lettings markets experienced high levels of demand coupled with a low supply of housing stock resulted in property values increasing both in terms of asking prices and rental values.
The latest figures show:
- - the value of the average home has increased by £44 per day in the last 6 months alone
- - UK house prices have hit a record high of £235,000 as sales are agreed at their fastest pace for 5 years
- - this is up from £30 per day between July 2020 and January 2021
- - the time it takes to agree on a sale is now less than 30 days
- - house prices climbed by 6.1% in the last year – more than double the rate of annual house price growth seen in August 2020.
Regionally this translates as Yorkshire showing an annual increase of 7.2% with the North East at 6.6%. The best performers were Wales at 9.8% and at the bottom of the scale London showing a modest 2.2% increase.
Whilst the vast majority within the property market both predicted and have since seen a tempering of the market during 2021 anyone who thought the removal of the Stamp Duty Holiday would act as a ‘cliff-edge’ moment can now see that there is little evidence that buyer behaviour has changed significantly.
Demand for property is still 35% higher than the average for the past 5 years. Cities are seeing an upturn in buyer interest as the workforce inevitably returns to office life, houses continue to be more sought after than flats as households appear to value outdoor space more highly since the beginning of the pandemic.
Housing stock availability remains lower than typical levels but is slowly improving. A point to note is that some of that supply is from the rental market with figures indicating that 8% of the current properties listed for sale have been previously let in the last three years, this is an increase from 3% two years ago. Whether this is landlords leaving the market completely or simply taking advantage of the current property market with a view to reinvesting will remain to be seen.
Advice for current buyers and sellers remains has it has been for the last 12-15 months “ensure that you have done your homework, get everything you can lined up in advance, be prepared to be flexible and act quickly” says Lindsay French, Valuer at George F. White.
Looking forward with the end of furlough and economic conditions proving challenging on paper the market will slowly see demand reduce and supply rise but this is unlikely to be noticeable for ‘those in the moment’ and it will continue to look and feel busy and overall house prices will end the year with a positive increase in value but perhaps not quite as high as the current 6.1% average.
2022 is likely to see stock levels continue to increase and the market will steadily return to more normal levels as we continue to exit the pandemic and see other economic factors stabilise.
If you would like advice on selling or renting your property please contact our team on 0333 920 2220.