Property market hits record highs

May 28, 2021

Whilst many sectors have suffered devastating effects as a result of COVID-19, the property industry is booming, and recent studies show the house prices are up an average of 6.5% on a year ago.  This March, the industry hit record highs, with house prices jumping by 1.1% month-on-month, according to an index.

A market resurgence

It’s a positive outlook for the property industry.  Today, the average price is set to be around £15,000 higher than it was since the start of the first national lockdown 12 months ago. While things slowed towards the end of 2020, March experienced an unarguable resurgence.  In the latest quarter (January to March), house prices were 0.3% higher than in the preceding three months.

Additionally, the number of property transactions increased in February to their highest level since March 2007, according to HMRC. There were 147,050 residential transactions, seasonally adjusted. This is a 23% rise from January and up a whopping 56.2% from February 2020.

Plans set out in the Budget in March 2021 included a new mortgage guarantee scheme to help buyers with a 5% deposit get on the property ladder. In addition, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said a suspension of stamp duty on property sales of up to £500,000, due to run until the end of March, would be extended to June 30.

What does the future look like for the property market?

The future looks bright for the property market, with consumer confidence spurred on by the successful vaccine rollout, buyer demand still fuelled by a desire for larger properties and more outdoor space, as work-life priorities have shifted during the pandemic. A shortage of homes for sale will also support prices in the short term, as lower availability always favors sellers.

The latest RICS Residential Market Survey shows the housing market picked up sharply over the month of March. Indicators on inquiries, new instructions, and sales all improved remarkably compared to February.

In March, new buyer enquiries rose to a net balance of +42%. This is up from zero in February. New instructions also improved from -28% in February to +22% in March. Additionally, greed sales increased dramatically from +7% to +50%. With this strong momentum, the housing market will likely remain busy in the coming months.

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