The housing market reopened for business in the last couple of weeks, as the government eased some of its lockdown measures to get the country moving. However, for those looking to move house, it’s still an uncertain time – but a new report has suggested that things could be looking up for those wanting to sell. The latest UK Cities House Price Index by Zoopla has revealed how house prices in each city have changed year on year.
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Today’s new report has revealed which city has had the best house price growth – and which have seen a decline compared to April 2019.
Nottingham took the lead, seeing the biggest growth year on year with an increase of 4.1 percent in April 2020, compared to the same time last year.
The average house price in Nottingham is now £158,000, according to the report.
Homeowners in Leicester followed close behind with an impressive four percent rise, while Manchester and Leeds were the next best cities in England for an increase. Edinburgh was top of the Scots with a 2.9 percent increase year on year.
However, Scotland homeowners fared worst according to the latest figures, as Aberdeen house prices dropped the most of all cities, declining by 1.7 percent year on year.
Surprisingly, Oxford also saw a drop compared to the year before, with average prices of £399,600.
While it’s bad news for those looking to sell, the slight decline could be a good sign for buyers hoping to scoop up a bargain now that properties are back on the market.
Overall, the average house price in the UK in April 2020 was £253,900 – which is up 1.9 percent year on year.
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However, this is a small reduction on the annual growth rate, as housing prices suffer due to the economic crisis.
Experts have predicted this decline to become more marked over the coming months as the true effect of the pandemic becomes clearer.
The price hike hasn’t put off UK buyers though, and in fact the reopening of the market has led to a surge in demand according to the Zoopla report.
Buyer demand across England spiked up by 88 percent after the market reopened, exceeding pre-lockdown levels by 20 percent.
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However, the jump in demand is expected to be only temporary as unemployment rises and market uncertainty continues.
In its report, Zoopla commented: “While the scale of the recent increase in demand is high, it reflects the fact that the market has been closed for 50 days (15 percent of the year), at one of the busiest times for market activity.”
It’s thought that as well as the market reopening causing a release of pent-up demand, some households may also have used the lockdown to reevaluate their living situation and realise that they want a change once the pandemic ends.
The rebound in London has also been lower than in other cities, suggesting that many city dwellers could be looking to move out and into the countryside where there’s more space.
Mark Gordon, Director of Money at Comparethemarket.com commented: “The housing market re-opening sooner than expected has given buyers and sellers a much-needed boost in confidence.
“Whether this demand is short-lived remains unclear, however, with many buyers undoubtedly deterred from moving as a result of economic uncertainty.”
But while those looking to get on the ladder might be nervous about the market, there are plenty of deals to be had when it comes to finances.
“For buyers who are in a position to move, mortgage rates are at an all-time low, with two-year fixed rates starting as low as 1.14 percent,” added Gordon.
“Shopping around online for a fixed-rate mortgage can save prospective buyers money every month and provide certainty on their monthly repayments.”
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