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Exchanges hit 10 year high with market frenzy set to continue

Data from agency Knight Frank suggests the number of UK exchanges last month was the highest in 10 years - well above even the late 2020 previous peak. 

The figure for March 2021 was nine per cent above the second-highest month - December 2020 - and 12 per cent higher than March 2016, when panic buying was going on ahead of the three per cent additional homes stamp duty surcharge.

The records weren’t limited to exchanges, says Knight Frank. 

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The number of new prospective buyers registering in March was also the highest in 10 years, possibly encouraged by a deferred stamp duty holiday deadline, while the number of offers accepted in March was also the highest such figure in a decade. March was also the second-highest month in a decade for the number of offers made. Despite social distancing and wariness amongst some to leave their homes, the agency says March 2021 was also the fourth highest month in 10 years for viewings. 

“In broad terms, the strengthening economy and gradual return to normality are playing a key role” explains the agency.

“The UK housing market is in the middle of a perfect storm” according to Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank.

“Sellers who hesitated in the first two months of the year because they were home-schooling or had concerns about missing the stamp duty deadline are now listing their property. Meanwhile, the prospect of summer holidays means a spring surge in activity is more discernible this year, buoyed in many cases by high levels of personal savings accrued over the last year. 

“The successful vaccine roll-out and encouraging economic indicators are providing the mood music” he continues.

For these reasons, he says the surge seen last month is likely to continue until at least the summer.

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