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Home buyer demand doubles property sales to £149bn this year

A surge in home buyer demand has resulted in £149bn worth of properties being sold so far this year, double the value in the same period in 2020 and 2019.

According to the latest research, one in every 50 homes was sold between 1 January and 15 April, up from one in every 100 homes during the same period of last year, when the housing market was shuttered for several months in the first Covid lockdown.

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The surge in sales has led to a lack of property on the market, with the number of homes available to buy 30 per cent down on levels seen between 2017 and 2019, according to research by property platform Zoopla.

The total number of homes listed for sale in the year to date is 19 per cent lower than average levels recorded in 2020 – despite a 50 day market closure in England – and longer in Wales and Scotland – last year when hardly any new stock was brought to market.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

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.

Listings of four-bedroom homes for sale are down year on year across the UK – by 58 per cent in Scotland, 44 per cent in the South West, 42 per cent in the North West, and 40 per cent in the South East.

By Jessica Clark

Source: City AM

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Stamp duty extension sees the property sales spike in March

The extension of the stamp duty holiday saw the property sales market spike in March with the renewed momentum looking likely to be sustained over the near term, the latest RICS Residential Market Survey has found.

The survey posted the strongest results in some months and those surveyed anticipated a busy three months ahead for the market.

Indeed, the month saw agreed sales hit the strongest level since August 2020 whilst new buyer enquiries were at a high last seen in September 2020.

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The report read: “The March 2021 RICS UK Residential Survey results show sales market activity picking up sharply over the month, with indicators on enquiries, sales and new instructions all improving noticeably compared to last time out.

“Survey participants highlight the extension of the stamp duty holiday as a significant driving force behind this renewed momentum, while a gradual loosening in lockdown restrictions is also said to be contributing to the rise in activity.”

Nigel Purves, CEO of Wayhome, added: “Demand clearly continued to outstrip supply in March, with a net balance of +59% of respondents citing a rise in house prices across the country.

“New buyer enquiries rose +42% – the strongest return since September 2020 and sales also spiked last month. This helped create a constant drumbeat of activity as we edged closer to the start of the traditionally busier springtime period.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

“While we are seeing a new-found confidence among many buyers and sellers, sadly this just isn’t the case for a large proportion of aspiring homeowners across the UK.

“Even with the stamp duty extension for an extra three months spurring on hopeful home buyers, there are many who find themselves overlooked and ignored due to their household income not meeting a mortgage lender’s criteria.

“This is despite them already having a deposit saved and being able to afford the equivalent of mortgage repayments in rent each month. More needs to be done to level the playing field and provide people with alternative routes into homeownership.”

By Ryan Fowler

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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