More buyers head to the North West as property sales soar by 137% since May

June 11, 2020

The UK housing market has been “unlocked” for four weeks now, and the sector has seen a significant rebound in terms of property sales. There’s good news for house prices, too.

Across the UK, property sales have surged by 137% between 13th May, when the housing market was reopened, and June. Over the past month, demand has also lifted back to pre-coronavirus levels, and is currently 54% higher than before much of the market was forced to freeze on 27th March.

According to Zoopla’s latest figures, sales numbers are still slightly lower than they were at the beginning of March. For the first week of June, they were 12% below week one of March across the UK. This could reflect the ongoing restrictions in place across Wales and Scotland, in contrast to England’s restored activity.

The impact on house prices

In terms of house prices, Zoopla also reported a 6% rise compared to June 2019. This is hugely positive news for the industry, although Richard Donnell, director of research and insight at Zoopla, advises caution.

He said: “We still believe that this spike in demand will be short-lived as the economic impacts of COVID start to feed through into market sentiment and levels of market activity in the second half of 2020.”

Buying and selling activity has greatly increased across all pricing levels, says Donnell. However, higher value homes have seen the biggest volume increase since the market began to move again. Zoopla figures show that 16% more properties sold for £1m or more in early June compared to early March.

Higher demand for higher value homes could be a direct result of lockdown conditions. Donnell suggests that COVID-19 has brought “a whole new group of would-be buyers into the housing market”. These buyers could consequently be looking to move to a larger home, or one with more outside space or in a better location.

Growing interest in UK regions

In contrast to the overall spike, sales in London recorded by Zoopla have not seen a great improvement. London transactions are currently 24.8% lower than they were during the first week of March.

At the other end of the spectrum, the north-west has seen a huge rebound of interest. The number of successful property sales in the region is now just 0.9% lower than the figure registered at the start of March. In the south-west, sales are down by only 1.7% now.

Donnell comments that more buyers than ever are now keen to commute into the city. Life in lockdown has changed many peoples’ priorities. While living in the centre of the capital might have once been a desirable choice, the lack of outside space, as well as internal space, will have led many to rethink their situations.

For others, as has been the trend for some time now, there are huge opportunities in cities far from the capital. Manchester and Birmingham have both seen a large influx of London-dwellers relocating there, for both the employment prospects and the better quality of life.

Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research, said: “This represents a window of opportunity for sellers. However, while transactions have ticked up, this requires pragmatism around pricing from both buyers and sellers, with the latter slightly softening their expectations on pricing.”

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Wayne Venter

International Business Development Manager

Wayne has been in the property industry for over 17 years. He started out selling residential properties in the northern suburbs of Sandton, South Africa, for one of the bigger real estate brands, before moving to a boutique, Johannesburg-based property developer. He worked at a senior level, specialising in residential developments on the north coast of KZN and various other areas of Northern Johannesburg.

Wayne moved to selling luxury, free standing homes and apartments in Sandton, Johannesburg in 2006, having joined the Country’s leading real estate brand and within six months was leading the team. In 2008, he began to focus exclusively on the luxury apartments in central Sandton, priced from approximately R2 million to R60 million. Over the years, he has also added commercial property sales and rentals to his repertoire, as well as building his own investment property portfolio between 2011 and 2018.

By 2018, realising where the South African property market was headed, he sold out of his investment property portfolio to de-risk and went looking for a real estate company to buy into. South Africa’s property market was extremely volatile at that time, so Wayne took the initiative and moved to London to work in property in the UK.

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Edward Snell

Senior Property Consultant

I live in Spanish countryside with my wife and our 11 rescue dogs.

Originally from Bedford, I have two sons, two step children & 6 grandchildren.

I have a keen interest in property investment and over the years have built up a personal portfolio for the purposes of rental income and capital growth.

I have over 20 years’ experience in property investment, both in the UK & overseas.

My other interests include animal welfare, football, motorsports, travel and music

My personality is of an even temperament and I enjoy the cut and thrust of doing deals.
I am happy and successful in what I do & take great pleasure in providing my clients with successful outcomes.

I’m a good team player but work well as an individual.

Daniel Harburn

Property Sales Consultant

Daniel had a passion for property from a young age so he began his working life by undertaking a plumbing apprenticeship for a large well known UK developer to pursue a career in construction. After qualifying he soon realised that building relationships was a preferred skill of his due to his loyal and trusting nature.

From then on Daniel launched his career in sales where he worked his way to to a high performing sales person at a creative media company. Part of Daniels success in accumulating clients over the last 10 years is put down to his diligence in customer experience.

Daniel has a keen interest in golf and also in keeping himself fit which is essential as he and his fiancé have 4 year old twins, Jacob and Sofia who keep them both on their toes.

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