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Boom! One in every 50 homes in UK has been sold this year

New figures from Zoopla today emphasise just how frenzied the housing market remains.

Here are the figures:

- so far in the first 15 weeks of this year £149 billion worth of homes have been sold; 

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- this is double the value in the same period of 2020 and 2019;

- one in every 50 homes was sold between January 1 and April 15;

- this is many weeks ahead of the norm - it’s usually like this at the end of June;

- number of homes listed for sale in the year to date 19 per cent lower than average;

- listings of four-bedroom homes for sale down year on year 58 per cent in Scotland, 44 per cent in the South West, 42 per cent in the North West, 40 per cent in the South East;

- Glasgow, Bristol, Nottingham, Stoke, Middlesbrough are top five busiest sales markets. 

The supply of new homes for sale has proved to be a casualty of the extreme market momentum, and in the first half of April, the number of homes available to buy was 30 per cent lower than the level of stock recorded during the same period in the comparatively ‘normal’ markets of 2017 to 2019.

Three and four-bedroom houses have recorded the biggest annual drop in supply - reflective of buyer demand for more space and an overall trend in homeowner appetites to upsize.

Across the UK, listings for three-bedroom and four-bedroom houses have reached a five-year low, with one of the busiest markets for a decade failing to replenish supply.

But Zoopla says the tide is turning when it comes to the supply side of the market. 

“Evidence suggests that listings started to rise in line with when schools reopened six weeks ago; for many families, bringing a property to market was easier once home-schooling came to an end” says the portal.

That said, all regions across the UK have witnessed at least a 20 per cent fall in the availability of family homes for sale and there is a tangible risk that the lack of family houses for sale will limit growth of sales volumes in the second half of 2021, ultimately stifling current market impetus.

And since the first stage of lockdown easing on April 12 in England, buyer demand has fallen back slightly. This comes as households start to focus on catching up with friends and family, and taking advantage of leisure activities and amenities that haven’t been available since January.

   

 

Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, comments: “The imbalance between supply and demand, which is creating a very tight market for family homes, will start to ease in the near term as homeowners become increasingly comfortable opening their homes to viewings, in turn building supply of new stock. The scale of buyer demand will also moderate from the peaks seen after Easter as lockdowns end across the country and there is some return to pre-pandemic ‘normality’.

“However, the fundamental imbalance will remain. Demand will remain strong as the ‘search for space’ among homeowners has further to run, especially as some office-based businesses are now confirming how their working practices will change in the longer-term. With appetite strong, homeowners thinking of selling should check My Home for a house price estimate and see if it’s time to sell.

“More flexible working arrangements open up new opportunities for homeowners to move to a further-flung location. At the same time, the roll-out of the 95% mortgage guarantee will mean more demand from first-time buyers, fuelling demand without replenishing supply.”

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