Brits have turned to home-buying to fill the summer holiday void post-lockdown as the “mini-boom” continues to accelerate. 

There is usually a seasonal slowdown in market activity over summer, as buyers and sellers focus on summer holidays. But given the current coronavirus restrictions, movers are placing more property on the market and have agreed more sales than for over a decade.

Rightmove’s latest house price index released today reveals the highest number of monthly sales in over ten years in August. It is up by 20 per cent on the previous high, and with a record total value of over £37bn. 

The latest figures also show the highest number of properties coming to market in a month since March 2008. 

Prices also usually fall in this period but there have been monthly price increases in ten out of twelve regions, with a record high in new seller asking prices in seven of the regions. 

However London is dragging down the national average to a 0.2 per cent decline due to its more typical two per cent seasonal monthly fall.

Evidence of a “mini-boom” emerged in July’s figures which showed the average asking price of property coming to market was up 2.4 per cent compared to March, before lockdown measures were announced. 

The government opened the English property market on 13 May, and has since announced a stamp duty holiday to reignite the housing market.

Rightmove housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “Rather than just a release of existing pent-up demand due to the suspension of the housing market during lockdown, there’s an added layer of additional demand due to people’s changed housing priorities after the experience of lockdown. This is also keeping up the momentum of the unexpected mini-boom, which is now going longer and faster.”

Additionally the figures show the increase in activity is not just a result of the stamp duty holiday, as sales agreed are up across all sectors of the market. In the first-time buyer sector they are up 29 per cent, 38 per cent in the second stepper sector and 59 per cent for larger homes. 

Russell Quirk, property expert at MovingHomeAdvice.com says: “This explosion of activity is not just a consequence of the fuel of stamp-duty-respite but a market that has proven time and again that it is robust even in the most challenging of circumstances.”

“You can apparently throw Brexit, political turmoil, a couple of general elections and a once in a century pandemic at it yet it still marches on. Like the proverbial cockroach, no matter what you do to kill it, it simply will not die”.  

Source: cityam.com