Property Market Update UK
As lockdown gradually lifts for England and the rest of the UK the property market continues to flourish unabashed.
One of the few sectors to have not just survived, but flourished, during the past year, it has been non-stop since May. But its re-opening after a temporary six-week coronavirus closure introduced a different emphasis – one where cities and large towns were no longer in favour. Nearly one year on, that’s still the case.
Countryside retreats and seaside resorts have become the order of the day. In fact, demand for quieter spots where there is the possibility of a garden and more property on offer for your money, is more insistent than ever. It’s why, for instance, Rightmove recently recorded its most popular destination as a coastal resort in Cornwall. And rural Norfolk isn’t too far behind.
In fact, according to the analytics website Home.co.uk property prices in Norfolk have increased by 27% over the past year from January 2020. It brings the price of the average property in the county from £255,925 to £325,820, according to the site’s analytics.
In fitting with the UK-wide property hunter’s desire for more space and a garden, the biggest selling properties in Norfolk have been detached bungalows. The average selling price for such properties is £406,748. The value of the average flat, in contrast, has fallen by 20% from £152,194 to £121,000.
Rightmove this week revealed that only one in five city properties have sold subject to contract on their portal since January. This contrasts with two out of three properties in the UK as a whole, mostly country, coastal and suburb locations.
Biggest supply and demand housing gap in a decade
Housing demand is far exceeding supply – to the extent it is the biggest discrepancy in more than a decade say upmarket estate agents Hamptons. Research carried out from January to March year on year reveals a 14% fall in properties coming to market, and a jump of 17% in demand.
And yet the opposite is true for London where there are 17% more properties for sale but fewer buyers. Many of those living in Inner London have even been prepared to pay a ‘park premium’ for moving to more ‘green areas’ in the suburbs such as Richmond and Wimbledon.
House prices increase £15,000 in 12 months
Halifax this month insisted the cost of the average property – based on mortgage offers – had increased £15,000 from March 2020 to 2021. Their figures put the average UK property at £254,606 and say there has been a 0.3% increase in the last quarter (Jan to March) compared to the previous three months.
The average time it’s taken for property transactions to go through these days has increased to 115 days – a fortnight longer than normal, say Zoopla. That’s due to so many buyers trying to benefit from the extended Stamp Duty Holiday where they won’t have to pay anything on the first £500,000 of a property in England until the end of June. After that the tax-free quota is for the first £250,000 until after September 30 when it reverts to the standard £125,000 free.
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