The last week or so hasn’t been too bad, has it? People can get their hair cut, pubs are open, and the UK property market continues to boom as we head towards a new state of normality. One could argue that the lockdown restrictions beginning to lift over the last few weeks have drastically boosted the UK property market, however, truth be told, the property market has been one of the few consistent positive aspects of the last 12 months.
As has been widely reported both by us here at Qualis and countless others in the industry, the property market surpassed all expectations throughout the height of the pandemic last year, with house prices increasing by an incredible 8.5% throughout 2020 – the highest annual growth since October 2014. Despite this staggering achievement it was widely expected that the market would begin to slow down and demand would start to dissipate, however, the market has continued its impressive trend throughout the year, once again surpassing expectations as we head towards the end of Q1 2021.
Newly released figured have revealed that, in yet another record-breaking landmark, property demand is at the highest levels in a decade. The data from Twenty CI revealed that nearly 162,000 sales were agreed during March 2021, an astonishing 77% year-on-year increase on 2020.
In addition to an increase in demand of late, the number of property completions increased by 66% in March 2021 when compared to that of a pre-covid March 2019. This increase in completions will no doubt have been spurred on by the introduction of numerous new legislations and schemes from the government such as the mortgage guarantee scheme and the stamp duty holiday extension, but no one could have quite anticipated such a drastic increase.
This overwhelming demand for property cannot be purely pinned down to the government’s incentives to stimulate the market alone, but a mixture of components including the effect that the lockdown restrictions have had on people’s priorities when it comes to both their living arrangements and income streams. A national survey from Romal Capital found that almost a third of UK households are planning to change their living arrangements and move to a new house thanks to their experience of being stuck at home in lockdown.
The strong performance over the last year, paired with both an increase in demand and the aforementioned government incentives, has left us in the midst of the fastest-selling market since records began according to Rightmove. The national average price of property coming to market hit a new all-time high of £327,797 in March, a massive £6,733 monthly increase that broke the previous monthly increase record by over £4,000. Sales agreed in the same month were up by 55% when compared to the same period two years before, further solidifying the property market’s phenomenal performance throughout this quarter.
This myriad of overwhelmingly positive components such as increasing demand, rising house prices and government incentives have all culminated to form this unprecedented and extremely prosperous period in the property market for those who are ready to invest – however, this perfect storm of stimulating elements won’t last forever. It’s an investors’ market right now, so we would highly recommend that those looking to invest in UK property do so soon.
Knight Knox have numerous property investment opportunities in cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield. Click here to browse.