Spring is traditionally the busiest time of the year for the housing market and 2021 is looking to be no exception. As lockdown restrictions start to ease, record demand and a prolonged shortage of supply is sustaining prices, while consumer and industry confidence continues to grow.
Sales were up by 15.5 per cent in the South East, 14.1 per cent in the South West and 10.6 per cent in Wales in the last 12 months, year on year.
There is a spring in the step of many this April as the restrictions imposed for lockdown start to loosen. Families and friends can meet, albeit with restrictions, the vaccine rollout continues, and elements of the economy are set to reopen for the first time since January. Consumer confidence is at its highest level since before Lockdown One in March 2020 and business activity across the UK private sector is recording its fastest rate of growth since August (GfK and IHS Markit). Both consumer sentiment and business growth have proved stronger than many expected, indicative of the view that the economy has proved far more resilient during the latest lockdown than during the first.
Against this backdrop activity in the housing market continues apace, bolstered by the extension to the Stamp Duty Holiday across both England and Wales and the new 95% mortgage guarantee scheme. While demand levels remain high, new supply to the market remains constrained. Scarce supply supports price growth: the average price of a property coming to the market in March is up in every region of the UK except the North West.
There was a significant uptick in construction activity during the final quarter of 2020. Over 44,000 private new homes were completed in the final quarter, the highest Q4 figure ever recorded. Almost half of home movers will consider buying a new build property; energy efficiency and the peace of mind afforded by warranty and insurance guarantees are the key considerations (Dataloft, Property Academy, 2020).
If you are hoping to sell a property or make the most of the stamp duty holiday on your upcoming property purchase, get in touch with your local Fine & Country agent to get started. Ask our agents about our unique marketing approach today.