The UK property market recovery continues, stepping up a gear in response to considerable pent-up demand and delayed sales, according to Home.co.uk’s Asking Price Index for August. Yorkshire is the top performing region with 8.1 per cent price growth year-on-year, followed by the North West with 6.7 per cent.
Home.co.uk says: “At odds with most mainstream predictions of doom and gloom, these two regions are registering the kind of growth we would expect during a property boom. Scotland is also showing impressive growth at an annualised 6.6 per cent, a far cry from the dire post-Brexit warnings.”
Asking prices in July were up for a third consecutive month in all English regions, Scotland and Wales with notably bullish price hikes evident here in Yorkshire, up 2.3 per cent and Scotland, 3.6 per cent. The most cautious price setting is observed in Greater London, up 0.5 per cent, and the East of England, up 0.6 per cent.
Home.co.uk say estate agents had a phenomenally busy month in July, taking on vast amounts of new instructions at the same time as properties were being snapped up. London agents were the busiest with the total of new inventory in July up 45 per cent when compared to July 2019. The East and South East regions were not far behind with totals of new instructions up 29 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, as vendors and agents make up for lost time when the market was hampered during lockdown.
Despite an overall uplift in monthly supply of homes for sale of 22 per cent, the UK total of stock for sale remains lower than a year ago, indicating that the market is far from saturated at the national level, at least for the time being, although some regions, notably London, may be entering a period of oversupply.
The annualised mix-adjusted average price growth across England and Wales currently stands at a 3.3 per cent, which is a big leap from August 2019, when the average annualised rate of increase of home prices was -0.2 per cent. Supply of homes in the rental sector across the UK has mostly recovered but remains 6.8 per cent down year-on-year. Only the Greater London area shows an increase in properties available to rent year-on-year.
Doug Shephard, director of Home.co.uk, says: “Britons and overseas investors seem to have lost none of their appetite for UK property. Making up for lost time, estate agents were extraordinarily active last month, adding near-record numbers of properties to their portfolios while, at the same time, securing vast numbers of sales subject to contract.
“Banks and building societies are reported to be overwhelmed by the demand for mortgage applications and even the Bank of England is sounding less pessimistic.
“Post-lockdown, some buyers are showing a new preference
for non-urban living but such lifestyle choices are for the privileged few. We don’t expect a mass exodus from UK cities, although prime London properties are clearly less desirable in both sales and rental sectors. In fact, rents are on the decline overall in Greater London.”
He adds that property investors are active buying rental properties as they look for less uncertain places to put their money. “Economic uncertainty is actually a key driver, prompting wealth transfer from riskier assets to the relative safety of bricks and mortar,” says Mr Shephard.
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