The first quarter of 2021 could see 100,000 more sales than normal across the UK, as the mini housing boom continues.
Figures show that London and the south east are experiencing the biggest increase in sales, following the reopening of the markets after lockdown and the chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday on properties priced up to £500,000.
According to property portal, Zoopla, agreed sales are up 38% on a year ago with the run-up to Christmas - usually a slow period for the housing market - likely to be the busiest in more than a decade.
Richard Donnell, director of research and insight at Zoopla said the housing market had experienced a “remarkable turnaround”.
“It has been a rollercoaster year for the housing market which is ending on a strong note with demand and sales agreed still more than 30% higher than this time last year.”
Property transactions last month topped 105,000; an increase of 10% on September, and 8% on October 2019, according to HMRC. Mortgage approvals have hit their highest level in more than a decade with 85,000 loans agreed in August.
This level of demand has increased prices by 3.5%, the biggest growth in three years, with more transactions predicted this year as buyers scramble to complete before the stamp duty holiday ends on 31 March 2021.
However, potential buyers have been warned that they may miss the deadline. Delays are being experienced with mortgage applications and conveyancing, due to huge demand and coronavirus safety restrictions.
David Hollingworth of mortgage brokers L&C said: “To get a mortgage offer in normal times you are usually looking at a couple of weeks from the application. Now you could be expecting it to take at least a month, or possibly longer.”
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