The property market wakes up…to what?
As soon as the property market reopened in May, the industry saw an immediate surge in demand, with visits to property website Rightmove up 18% year-on-year on 27 May, its busiest day on record.
With government support schemes due to come to an end later this year and economic uncertainty still very much a feature of this new landscape, what’s next for the market?
Early signs are positive… The level of demand observed since mid-May is certainly a good sign for future market recovery, but there have been other positive indicators, too. The Zoopla House Price Index published on 24 June suggests that pricing will show a sustained 2% to 3% growth over the next quarter, while figures1 reveal an average house price increase of 1.9% compared with pre-lockdown March levels.
There has also been a particularly strong sales rebound in northern cities, with Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester seeing sales surge by up to 20% compared with February 20202.
… but will it last? Figures published by the ONS on Tuesday 16 June paint a rather dim picture of the UK’s employment prospects, with the number of people unemployed and claiming benefits rising faster than at any previous point in our history.Also, the number of people on UK payrolls in May 2020 was down by 600,000 compared with March. Therefore, many sources are expecting initially high demand to weaken as the full effect of the pandemic is felt on the economy and labour market.
A mixed outlook
No matter what way you spin it, we’re in for a bumpy ride as the property market finds its feet and people’s jobs hang in the balance.
If you’re looking to buy or sell in the current climate it’s wise to seek professional financial advice to ensure you’re getting the right deal.
1 Rightmove, 2020 2Zoopla, 2020