House prices increased by £44 per day on average, claims Zoopla – ‘market to remain busy’

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House prices increased by a staggering £17,508 – or £34 per day – since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020, according to Zoopla’s latest house price index. Since February 2021, value increases have ranged from £64 per day in the South East and £63 per day in the South West, to £24 per day in the North East. The exponential growth in southern regions equates to £12,000 in growth – almost triple that achieved by the North East.

Annual house price growth increased by +6.1 percent in August which is more than double growth rates recorded in the previous 12 months.

With the market moving at its fastest pace in five years, buyer activity has remained high despite the tapering of the stamp duty holiday.

A plethora of property experts were anticipating a “cliff edge” at the end of September as the stamp duty nil rate band returned to pre-pandemic levels.

However, so far, there has been no sign that demand or activity is abating.

Even London, which saw some of the slowest growth during the pandemic, has seen demand increase by 14 percent over the last month.

This has largely been driven by the return to the office.

The property market is now moving at its quickest pace for the past five years with the time between listing a property and a agreeing a sale averaging just under 30 days each month since May.

Usually, it would take over 40 days at this time of year.

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Buyer demand is still 35 percent higher than average levels recorded over the last five years.

Which regions have seen the biggest gains?

Wales recorded the highest level of growth regionally at 9.8 percent, followed by Northern Ireland (8.4 percent) and the North West of England which had eight percent growth.

Liverpool continues to have the highest price growth amongst the UK’s major cities with average prices up almost 10 percent in the last 12 months to September.

Meanwhile, London’s growth only increased by 2.2 percent in the same period.

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This represents a 7.6 percentage point spread between the region with the lowest rate of growth – London – and the region with the fastest – Wales.

This is one of the widest gaps seen in the last three years, reflecting how the market has shifted since the pandemic began.

Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla, said: “The ending of the ‘tapered’ stamp duty holiday has had little impact on buyer demand, which remains higher than typical levels for this time of year.

“The demand coming from buyers searching for space, and making lifestyle changes after consecutive lockdowns, has further to run.

“Balancing this however, will be the ending of Government support for the economy via furlough, and more challenging economic conditions overall, which we believe will have an impact on market sentiment as we move through Q4.

“We expect the market to remain busy compared to historical norms, and for price growth to remain in firmly positive territory at the end of the year, although lower than current levels of +6.1 percent.

“Stock levels will start to rebuild in early 2022 as market activity returns to more normal levels.”

Cory Askew, Head of Sales at Chestertons, said London is seeing a “steady influx” of international buyers as people return to the office.

He said: “Whilst the avalanche effect of the stamp duty holiday has worn off, London is seeing a return of office workers and steady influx of international buyers.

“Sellers have taken note of this and, with a higher demand for properties, don’t feel the need to lower their asking price.

“Although this time of year is traditionally quieter for the property market, August’s performance has actually outperformed the five-year average in terms of buyer enquiries and viewings.”

Chestertons found that buyer enquiries were up 18.2 percent with viewings up 8.6 percent compared to the five-year average performance for the month of August.

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