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Value of UK house sales to jump 46 per cent this year but London lags behind

The total value of UK house sales is set to reach £461bn this year, a 46 per cent jump on 2020, according to new data.

Property website Zoopla predicts that the current housing market boom is likely to surge to its busiest rate for 14 years.

The forecast comes after data last week showed that UK house prices rose by 10.2 per cent in March, its highest growth rate since August 2007, before the financial crisis hit.

The unprecedented growth has been fuelled by an extension to the stamp duty holiday and new government guarantees for mortgages.

Zoopla said that it expects house sales to reach 1.52m this year, which would put 2021 in the top 10 busiest years since 1959.

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London lags behind

Demand for family homes is diverting buyer interest away from London, with interest in properties in Wales and Yorkshire surging.

London continues to trail when it comes to house price growth at 1.9 per cent, the slowest regional rate across the UK for the sixth consecutive month.

Homes are taking just under two months to sell in inner London, two weeks longer than the 2017 to 2019 average.

Four central London boroughs are registering price falls for a third month in a row, including the City, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, and Hammersmith & Fulham.

These areas have been particularly affected by the shutdown of business due to the pandemic.

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

The capital ‘will recover’

Despite London’s declining dominance in the housing market, analysts believe the UK’s city centres will recover and thrive as workers return.

“The pandemic has pushed London to the bottom of the house price inflation league, but as we face into what seems to be a solid recovery, there can be little doubt that it will soon be gaining places and rising up the table,” said John Eastgate, managing director at Shawbrook Bank.

“With solid fundamentals underpinning the property market even after the end of the stamp duty holiday, there’s a strong argument to suggest that our cities, London in particular, represent good value today for both homeowners and investors.”

By Damian Shepherd

Source: City AM

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Coronavirus causing slump in sales and viewings

Sales and viewings through online estate agents are falling considerably now the coronavirus outbreak worsened, data from online estate agency Doorsteps indicates.

Its daily sales have fallen by 77% from the first week of March to the third, while there’s been a 51% drop in daily bookings for viewing properties.

Akshay Ruparelia, managing director, said: “We are just trying to stay very lean and focus on getting through it.

“Demand to sell properties is not going to change, it’s just deferred, so when things pick up we could have a great few months.

“It’s about weathering the storm.”

He added that he feels lucky the firm is in its fourth year and has good volumes, while he is looking to retain staff during this difficult period.

Doorsteps suggested the situation is particularly bleak in London, where there’s been a 90.89% fall in property sales from the first week of March to this week.


Source: Property Wire

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UK house sales stronger than normal in August – Rightmove

August, normally a quiet month for Britain’s property market, has seen a surge in sales, possibly due to buyers seeking to conclude transactions before the country leaves the European Union on Oct. 31, property website Rightmove said on Monday.

Rightmove said sales in the August period, which cover the four weeks to Aug. 10, were 6.1% higher than a year earlier and their strongest for the month since 2015, bucking a generally sluggish trend since June 2016’s referendum on leaving the European Union.

“While the end of October Brexit outcome remains uncertain, more buyers are now going for the certainty of doing a deal, with some having perhaps hesitated earlier in the year,” Rightmove director Miles Shipside said.

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the EU by Oct. 31, even if that means leaving without a transition deal – something most economists think will cause major disruption to businesses and overseas trade.

But British consumers have largely shrugged off Brexit worries so far, bolstered by a strong labour market and the fastest increases in wages in 11 years, in contrast to businesses, which have held back from making major investments.

House price inflation has slowed since June 2016, according to official figures. But this has largely been driven by price falls in London and surrounding areas, which have been most affected by higher property taxes on expensive housing and fears of post-Brexit job losses in the financial services sector.

Rightmove said asking prices on its website were down 1.0% on the previous month – a smaller fall than normal for August, when many buyers are away on holiday – while prices were 1.2% higher than a year earlier.

Sales rose fastest in northeast and eastern England, and the biggest fall in asking prices was in southeast England excluding London.

Rightmove based its data on more than 130,000 prices collected between July 7 and Aug. 10 from its website, which it says advertises 90% of residential property on sale in Britain.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Source: UK Reuters

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UK house sales plummet in June, held back by Brexit ‘ball and chain’

House sales crashed 16.5 per cent in June, as the property market took a “wait-and-see” attitude to transactions amid Brexit uncertainty.

Monthly HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures showed British residential property sales fell to 84,490, more than one-sixth down on the same period last year.

The figure represents a 9.6 per cent monthly drop between May and June this year.

Analysts were quick to point out the figures are reported with several months’ lag, meaning the transactions relayed are those accepted in March.

Benham and Reeves director Marc von Grundherr said: “With many of us, perhaps foolishly, believing we would be exiting the EU at the end of March, it stands to reason that the vast majority of buyers may have refrained from a sale until this event had passed.

“Therefore any dip in transactions should be viewed as a momentary stutter and with many other market indicators suggesting a return to form and growing levels of buyer demand over the last few months, we should start to see the number of properties being sold climb from here on in.”

Non-residential transactions were also down 7.2 per cent month-on-month.

‘A fragile market landscape’
Springbok Properties founder Shepherd Ncube added: “A lull in transactions will come as a cause for concern in what is currently a rather fragile market landscape, however, the broader picture simply doesn’t suggest a market that is on its knees.

“Homebuyer appetite is alive and well and while many may not want to fill up on bread until the main course of Brexit is finally served, we are on course to see a healthy level of properties transact this year regardless.

Joseph Daniels, founder of modular developer Project Etopia, added: “Sales volumes have walked off a cliff, crashing hard as the Brexit deadlock becomes the ball and chain fixing the housing market to the spot.

“What you’re seeing is a wait-and-see attitude among sellers and many buyers becoming endemic.”

By Alex Daniel

Source: City AM

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Million-pound UK house sales hit a new high in 2017 – but London was not the region with the fastest growth

The number of properties which sold for more than a million pounds hit a record high last year, according to Lloyds Bank Private Banking – but London was not the region with the highest growth.

Instead, Yorkshire and the Humber saw the sale of million-pound homes rocket by 60 per cent compared to the year before, while the capital experienced a mere one per cent climb.

Across the whole country, the number climbed by five per cent as 14,474 homes worth more than a million pounds were sold.

“As always, the highest number of transactions took place in the capital last year. However growth in London has started to slow for million pound properties,” said Louise Santaana, head of UK wealth lending at Lloyds Banking Group.

“Overseas investors represent a good share of this end of the London market and some may be holding off buying, pending further clarity over Brexit.”

She added that 2018 would be an “interesting year” for the million-pound property market, as government consultation on ways to improve the house-buying process could make “high-end homeowners more empowered to engage in property transactions”.

But counteracting this could be the high cost of stamp duty, especially for people looking to invest in property rather than buying somewhere to live.

The East Midlands was the only place to see lower numbers of million-pound homes sold last year, with a 23 per cent drop to just 72 transactions.

Source: City A.M.