Market Snapshot – Sales & Outlook
Sales completions forecast to rise to 1.5 million
Buyer demand has been strong since the end of the first lockdown last year as households reassess how and where they are living. For some, the need for more space, especially if working from home is to be a more regular occurrence, has prompted a move.
Many older households are also re-evaluating their housing needs and moving for the first time in many years. First-time buyers are also becoming more active in the market, with better access to mortgage finance.
The stamp duty holiday introduced in July to March, and the subsequent extension to June and tapered extension to the end of September, has provided an added impetus for many to purchase a home. This demand for homes in the sales market led to a very busy start to the year with £149 billion of homes sold subject to contract in the first 15 weeks of the year.
Activity will remain elevated towards year end, albeit not as high as towards the end of last year. Even so, we expect total sales completions this year will be 1.52 million. This would make 2021 one of the most active sales markets since the global financial crisis, and as one of the top ten busiest years since 1959.
Projections show that the value of homes sold this year will be £461 billion, some 46% higher than last year, and 68% higher than in 2019. Since the market opened up last year, the ‘search for space’ has contributed a rise in the value of homes being sold. This additional activity has led to a rise in the total value of sales from £273 billion in 2019, to £316 billion in 2020 and a projected total of £461 billion in 2021.
In turn, the value of mortgage lending is also rising, hitting a record high of £11.3 billion in March, according to the Bank of England.
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