When we all first began to feel our lives had become intertwined with some kind of sci-fi movie, just over a year ago, who could have expected a housing boom?
As, fingers crossed, we begin to see the back of Covid 19’s stranglehold on the UK, property prices are hitting record highs, as the fallout of the pandemic creates a very unexpected side-effect.
Throughout the UK, the total value of homes sold is expected to reach £461bn this year, a jump of 46% on 2020, claims property website Zoopla.
Such a prediction would mean the property market is on course to be the busiest for 14 years.
In recent weeks, the Office for National Statistics said average UK house prices in March had increased by 10.2% in a year – which is the highest annual growth rate since August 2007, which was just before the financial crisis of the credit-crunch hit.
It is all a result of the combination of the stamp duty holiday introduced last summer, new government guarantees for mortgages, and a shift in priorities, with homebuyers prioritising properties with bigger gardens and more room for the modern working from home phenomenon, brought on by the crisis.
Zoopla claims its estimates indicated that home sales would increase 45% on 2020 which would mean that this year was one of the top 10 busiest years since 1959.
Meanwhile, the value of homes sold in 2021 is expected to reach £461bn, said the website.
Here in the South-East has traditionally seen some of the UK’s hottest properties, with the world city of London on our doorstep, but the current hotspots are Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, and north-west England.
Notably, average prices are falling in the City of London (down 2.5% year-on-year), and the traditional sought after locations of Kensington and Chelsea (down 1.7%), Westminster (down 2.2%), and Hammersmith and Fulham (down 1.4%).
Unsurprisingly, these areas have been hit hard by the global shutdown of international business and leisure travel in the fallout of the coronavirus crisis.
No one knows for sure how the last extraordinary 15 months or so will pan out in the fullness of time, but it is fair to say we are living in a time which the history books will certainly reference.
It’s more than just interesting times in the housing market.
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