Created 4th June 2021

The world has changed dramatically in the last year and the housing market is no exception. The property market is on course for its busiest year since 2007, as the ‘race for space’ continues.

The total value of homes sold in the UK is projected to reach £461bn before the end of 2021, that is an increase of 46% on the figures from the previous year. According to property website Zoopla, which bases its figures on the largest underlying data sample of any UK house price index, home sales are expected to reach 1.52m in 2021, an increase of 45% of 2020.

Nationwide revealed that house prices have risen by 10.9%, the highest level in seven years. The data supports that 2021 has experienced the highest level of activity since 2007, which will make 2021 one of the top 10 busiest years for the housing market since 1959.

Since Covid restrictions on estate agency branches were lifted, there has been a significant surge in sales activity which far exceeded the expected rate of recovery. In recent years we have seen increasing number of people relocating to the north to retire. Since the Coronavirus pandemic, the trend has increased, with the draw of Northumberland’s quality of life and affordability proving as desirable as ever. According to Zoopla, annual house prices in the North East have increased by 4.3% in the last year, and the country as a whole is experiencing a 4.1% rise across the housing market.

It is imperative to consider the factors that have fuelled this change over the past year. The introduction of stamp duty holiday in the summer of 2020, combined with new government guarantees for mortgages and higher desire for larger living space have all been factors in the heightened demand for housing over the past year. Notably, potential property purchasers are changing their ideal home specification to incorporate larger gardens and more space if required to work from home.

Many people are determined to secure a home that meets their new needs, despite fierce competition – and it is these movers who are driving sudden increases in average prices. Activity remains remarkably strong with conveyancing quote volumes in April at around 60% higher than normal levels for the time of year.

Stamp duty savings may have been cleared by prices rising, but buyers remain undeterred, with a large proportion having accumulated substantial savings during lockdown and in a position to review their location thanks to flexible working from home arrangements. “The growth in the residential property market is exactly the news we all needed after the last year. As the value of homes sold is predicted to reach £461bn before the end of 2021, which would represent an increase of 46% from the 2020 figures, this can only be positive news for the market.

Matt Hoy

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