The UK housing market has flourished throughout the coronavirus pandemic with a stamp duty holiday that helped to fuel about 1.5m house purchases across the UK in 2021. Last year was the strongest year for mortgage lending too, it is estimated that gross lending overall would peak at £316bn, the highest figure since the £357bn recorded in 2007, according to trade association UK Finance, up 31 per cent on 2020 levels.
This robust market performance has been reflected particularly in terms of price rises – the annual change percentage since October 2020, shows on average, a price change for the South East of 10.3% according to Land Registry and much more in some areas. We certainly saw increasing buyer/applicant registrations and this was reflected in the elevated offers received for properties locally. Nationally this was seen too - “Fierce competition has resulted in 38 per cent of properties sold having been agreed for more than the original asking price.” Nathan Emerson CEO of Propertymark.
Whilst 2021 was positive for many, the situation for first time buyers was not so easy, with many finding their affordability stretched as they struggled to reach the record reaching house price levels achieved. The impact of Covid-19 also saw flexible working changes which prompted many to relocate, and we saw a significant increase in enquiries from those looking to move to the Brighton and Hove areas. An imbalance between demand and supply pushed prices up locally and the demand for family homes with outside space we think is likely to persist into 2022.
As we headed into the Christmas period the market followed usual trends of decreasing transactions, however with many eager buyers still out there we would recommend that homeowners looking to sell do not wait too long before marketing their property in the New Year. We predict in 2022 that the housing market will follow a more normal course with the busiest time for transactions being the Spring and Autumn.
“While the 2022 and 2023 gross lending figures will be reductions on the 2021 peak, notably they are higher than the 2020 and 2019 figures and represent a return to more stable levels of activity” according to UK Finance. Nathan Emerson of Propertymark wrote “What we need to see in the new year is a gentle levelling out, which could be driven by new year motivations delivering new sellers or changing interest rates taking some of the mounting energy from buyers.”
For those looking to get on the ladder or upsize the outlook is brighter, as 2022 is predicted to bring some stability to house prices and a more balanced picture. There are signs already that people are starting to think about their next move, as there is a healthy increase in valuations as potential sellers contemplate the year ahead. Given current conditions of a fast market and potentially a bright year ahead we would encourage anyone considering a move to contact us for up-to-date advice and start their journey with Dean & Co.
The Dean & Co Team