I’m sure I speak for most in the property industry when I say that back in March and April I had huge worries about how the rest of this year would pan out, specifically how the property market would deal with the wider situation affecting the country.
I am now so pleased to see just how resilient the property market has been and how quickly it has managed to bounce back.
Figures from July and August confirm reports that the market has recovered well and is arguably stronger than ever.
The number of sales transactions across the UK has increased significantly with HMRC estimating over 60,000 transactions completed in June this year and over 70,000 in July. Initial figures from Andrews also show that these figures increased even further through August and will continue to increase in autumn as well.
With increased demand has also come an increase in house prices. According to the July Nationwide House Price Index, prices have also continued to grow steadily as there was an annual increase of 1.5%.
This doesn’t come as a surprise as the stamp duty holiday has sparked an increase in interest, and has allowed buyers to spend a bit more directly on property from what they’re saving on the stamp duty.
Homes are also selling quicker since lockdown as the time to sell a home has fallen by more than a quarter in the UK. From marketing to receiving an offer is now taking, on average, just 27 days which is 31% lower than the same time period in 2019.
This is no surprise to hear considering buyer demand since the start of the year is 34% higher than in the same period last year.
One of the key elements which has allowed properties and people to get moving again is mortgage availability. Mortgages were extremely limited earlier this year but both availability and approvals have increased significantly. Over 40,000 mortgages were approved in June, which was a huge 331% increase compared to May.
There is also an improved mood in the lettings market as tenant demand has continued to increase. Tenant demand has continued to rise sharply following a large decline during lockdown. However, new instructions to let property remain flat, which is a continued trend from before lockdown.
Increased demand and low supply means that we could see rents rise in the short-term until this demand and supply levels out.
We’re not completely out the woods yet and as this year has shown anything can happen, but these last couple of months has shown how well the property market has adapted to the changes it’s faced and could actually be coming out the other side stronger.
*Ellie Donaghy is Head of Lettings at Andrews Property Group