HOUSING MARKET HAVING ‘BUSIEST YEAR SINCE FINANCIAL CRASH’

Lack of properties for sale is driving prices to record highs.
House sales are headed for heights not seen since before the global financial crash, with a lack of stock driving prices skywards.
Property transactions are predicted to exceed 1.5 million this year, according to property website Zoopla, with sales expected to be up 45pc compared to 2020. 
This would be the most sales in a calendar year since 2007, when 1.6 million sales were recorded. The average number of annual transactions has been between 1 million and 1.2 million over the last decade. 
Government intervention in the form of the stamp duty holiday and furlough scheme have so far insulated the housing market from the worst economic shock in 300 years.
House price growth has almost doubled, according to Zoopla, hitting 4.1pc in April and up from 2.3pc in the same month in 2020. The average home cost £228,300 last month, driven by the  imbalance between demand and supply in the market. 
The number of properties for sale was down 20.8pc in the year to mid-May, compared with last year. 
Kate Eales, of Strutt and Parker said its stock was down 36pc year-on-year. 
“Block viewings, best and final offers and sealed bids have been commonplace; outside of London we simply haven’t seen a property market like this since 2007. We continue to register new applicants at an unprecedented rate,” she said. 
 Zoopla said it expected £461bn worth of homes to be sold this year, an increase of 68pc on the value of sales in 2019. It means 2021 is  predicted to be one of the busiest years for the property market since 1959. 
This boom in the total value of property sold has largely been driven by the sheer number of transactions taking place this year, but is also due to more expensive homes selling as buyers search for greater space. 
The long-standing regional divide has been reversed in the past year, with price growth in Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North West surging ahead. In these areas prices grew by 6.3pc, 5.4pc and 5.3pc respectively in the year to April.
London still lagged behind with the slowest growth in Britain of 1.9pc. 
Caroline Pattinson, of Pattinson, an estate agency in the North East, said: “Historically, 50pc of properties that come to market will sell, but that has increased significantly over the past year.
“Properties on the whole are selling much faster than before the pandemic, and it’s common to find a home has gone under offer in a matter of days.”