According to British real estate industry data released on Monday, Britons have purchased and sold a record number of homes between mid July and early August with pent up demand from the Wuhan coronavirus and a desire to leave London bucked the usual trend of the typical summer slowdown.
According to Rightmove, a property website which states that is supposedly used by 90% of British estate agents, this is the highest number of home sales since it began tracking the data more than a decade ago.
The trend is mirrored from recent figures released by the Bank of England, whose data covers the June and July period, prior to the announcement of a tax break on moving home, there was a sharp rebound in demand for mortgages, although fewer loans were approved compared to before pandemic.
“Rather than just a release of existing pent-up demand due to the suspension of the housing market during lockdown, there’s an added layer of additional demand due to people’s changed housing priorities after the experience of lockdown,” said Rightmove director Miles Shipside.
According to the data collected from July 12 to August 8, the average asking prices for August were 4.6% higher than the same period during the previous year; while typically in the summer, demand for real estate weakens, this year the softening to materialize.
Only in London was there the typical 2% monthly fall in asking prices, with prices up almost everywhere else in Britain other than London’s commuter belt.
“The out-of-city exodus has helped push prices to record levels in Devon and Cornwall, for example, where working from home means a different lifestyle much closer to your new doorstep,” said Shipside.
According to a chain of estate agents Hamptons International, “private-sector rents in inner London were 8% lower in July than a year ago as a collapse in foreign tourism and corporate relocation meant property that had previously been rented out short-term became available to long-term tenants”.
Estate agents have also told Rightmove that buyers had been given extra impetus to move by the temporary exemption from property purchase taxes for homes costing up to $654,650 (500,000 pounds) which was announced in July by British finance minister Rishi Sunak. Demand however was up across the board and not just for homes that directly benefited from the tax breaks.