Has the Property Market Hit Its Ceiling?

According to Zoopla, in the last quarter of 2020 there were over 140,000 more people in the process of purchasing a property than there was in the previous year, with an estimated 418,000 home sales progressing to completion.

The latest UK House Price Index published in January this year states that house prices had increased by 7.6% in the year to November 2020, up from 5.9% in October. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 1.2% between October and November, which is significant considering house prices fell by 0.4% during the same period a year earlier.

Based on this, it seems that the mini-boom experienced in the property market, due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, was still alive and well as we neared the end of 2020. While many were predicting house prices to fall last year it never materialised, instead surges in demand from people reassessing the way they want to live, only pushed them skyward. The record high property prices experienced throughout last year was a reflection on how robust the property market is, as well as peoples fortitude to move despite challenging circumstances.

Another indication that the boom might not yet be over is the reintroduction of low-deposit mortgages. In early September 2020, low-deposit mortgages were scarce with only 44 available products, this has increased to nearly 200 products according to data from Moneyfacts. This is a significant adjustment and likely to stimulate the first-time-buyer market, once again allowing first-time buyers to realise their homeownership dreams.

The announcement of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday was another catalyst that added fuel to a market that was already bucking seasonal trends. Many people escalated their plans to move in order to make the deadline and benefit from the tax relief. According to Zoopla, in the last quarter of 2020 there were over 140,000 more people in the process of purchasing a property than there was in the previous year, with an estimated 418,000 home sales progressing to completion.

The health of the property market and house prices in 2021 will largely be determined by the recovery from the pandemic, which will be influenced by the success of the vaccine programme or the government extending their support to the economy through fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Read More: Forbes

Photo by Will Mu from Pexels

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