Quicker home sales post-lockdown
How long will your home take to sell and what types of properties are people looking for? And will demand last? Zoopla's latest data report shows the impact coronavirus is having on the housing market.
August 27, 2020
Zoopla’s house price data from July suggests the housing market is at its strongest since 2015, driven by pent-up demand and a once-in-a-lifetime re-evaluation of what buyers want from a home in the wake of lockdown.
The bounce in activity has meant that homes are selling at a faster rate than before the pandemic across all regions of the UK.
At a UK level, homes are selling in 27 days (31% lower than the same 3-month period last year).
Homes are currently selling in less than a month across all regions and countries.
Three-bedroom houses remain the fastest selling property on the market, with an average time of 24 days since the lockdown lifted.
Changing buyer requirements – as households prioritise more space and widen their search criteria outside of the cities to find a home – has resulted in the time to sell 4 and 5 bed houses falling by over a third compared to last year. Four bed houses are now selling faster than the average flat.
Meanwhile, flats are taking the longest time to sell at an average 32 days – which is still quick by historic standards because of the level of activity.
It’s worth noting that Zoopla calculate the time to sell from the date first marketed to going under offer or ‘sold subject to contract’. Be aware that it can take a further 3 months for a sale to complete and the buyer to finally move in.
Housing market overview
Zoopla’s monthly snapshot also suggested:
- Demand continues to run ahead of supply, sustaining annual house price growth at 2.5 per cent.
- More homes are coming to market in wealthier demographics post lockdown with wealthier sellers less likely to be affected by recession. Zoopla questions the extent to which the Government consultation on Capital Gains Tax may be encouraging some wealthier home owners to bring forward decisions to sell.
- While the market improves, buyer demand has softened 17 per cent over past month, as the holiday season distracts purchasers. Even so, demand remains 78 per cent above last year.
- Zoopla has suggested that mortgage reliant borrowers will be squeezed out at the margins by some tightening in credit availability but there is a good chance that these buyers are likely to be replaced by older, more-equity rich households who bring forward decisions to move in response to the lockdown.
- In September we may start to see more activity as people return from their summer holidays and children start back at school, and people can focus on major decisions like moving home.
- Zoopla anticipates market conditions will remain stronger than last year for the rest of 2020 with house prices up between two and three percentage points by Christmas.
What does this mean for me?
This news of market activity bodes well for buyers who are looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, which will run until 31 March 2021.
For sellers, it’s worth noting that while house sales are reported as running 76% ahead of the 5-year average, not all homes are flying off the shelves.
Zoopla’s analysis only tells us about the homes that are selling. Even with strong market conditions it is important that serious sellers:
- Do their research to price their home in line with the local market
- Present their homes well. 68% of buyers found kerb appeal to be important when they bought their home.
- Appoint a good estate agent they can trust
- Get themselves ready to move quickly once an offer is made. Find and compare quotes from conveyancing firms today.