As the United Kingdom was plunged into lockdown, we saw property portals and online property websites reporting huge numbers of visitors and this online activity is now being translated into sales agreed. Zoopla are reporting a huge spike in sales agreed with current figures now matching those back in early March when the market was booming, showing that the property market in England is experiencing a true resurgence post-lockdown.
In the month following the reopening of the property market, up to 7th June, analysis shows that demand for housing was 54% higher than at the start of March, with new sales agreed having risen by 137% since the market reopened.
Interestingly, the higher the values of the property the greater the increase in the volume of sales agreed when compared to before the Coronavirus crisis. Home sales for properties priced £1m and above are 16% higher than three months earlier – this could be attributed to homeowners looking to trade up in terms of location or property size. The impact of the Coronavirus can be seen on the most searched terms for properties – with home offices and outdoor space now higher in buyers’ priorities.
Zoopla’s Director of Research and Insight commented:
“The rebound in housing demand over the last month is not solely explained by a return of pent-up demand.
“COVID has brought a whole new group of would-be buyers into the housing market.
“Activity has grown across all pricing levels, but the higher the value of a home, the greater the increase in supply and sales as people look to trade up.”
The analysis from Zoopla is supported by Rightmove’s recent data publication which revealed that 40,000 new sales have already been agreed since the market reopened – with the average asking price of properties up by an average of 1.9% compared to pre-lockdown.
Property expert Miles Shipside commented:
“Following the initial shock of the early reopening of the housing market, England is getting moving again with a boom in traffic on Rightmove,” said Shipside.
“There are no signs of panic selling or even a price dip. Some sellers who had agreed a sale before lockdown have been worrying that their buyer may try to re-negotiate with a reduced offer.
“On this evidence buyers may now be trying to exchange quickly, as there are signs of high pent-up demand and upwards price pressure, rather than downwards.”