Published: 19/01/20212020 was a tough year for everyone including many businesses across the whole UK. In terms of the housing market though, there is plenty to smile about at the end of what has been a turbulent 12 months, with one of the busiest years on record. Many predicted a downward spiral for house prices as a result of the pandemic, but the opposite has happened, with prices staying on an upwards trajectory.
Zoopla announced it saw the busiest run up to Christmas for over a decade, with the market recording sales agreed on more homes in 2020 than in 2019 during the same period. They also announced a 70.5 per cent increase in traffic on Boxing day as people look to take advantage of the stamp duty freeze. This is set to intensify in January given the now imminent end to the stamp duty holiday, which is set to bring more hungry buyers into the market, keen to find and complete on their new home before the stamp duty deadline expires at the end of March.
Boxing day is always a good indicator of how the market is likely to perform at the start of 2021, so to see such huge numbers of interested potential buyers is very promising. A contributing factor will certainly be the national lockdown that is still ongoing, with more people at home having the time to look at what is on the market, not to mentioned revaluating if they have enough space during a period where the whole family is around.
Once the stamp duty holiday concludes at the end of March, there will likely be a slowdown in sales completions as the impetus to move amongst buyers motivated by stamp duty savings dissipates. This will have a knock on effect on transaction volumes later in the year as stamp duty is reintroduced.
Zoopla’s are anticipating house price growth across the country in 2021 to be around 1.0 per cent on average – this will run within a narrow range from 1.75 per cent in Scotland to just 0.5 per cent in the East of England and the North East.
Overall it’s not all doom and gloom out there, especially within the property sector. With the hope of successful mass vaccination and a rising trend in people looking to move home, as a year of homeworking has led people to re-evaluate their housing needs, there is confidence across the industry that momentum will continue into 2021.