Following the re-opening of the English estate agency market on 13th May, property sales activity has seen consistent growth each week. June 2020 has seen fantastic weeks of weather, as well as 4 consecutive weeks of instruction levels exceeding 2019 norms. Is this pent-up supply and demand driving a short term wave or is this a sustained activity level driven by people re-evaluating where and how they live?
At this point in the post lockdown cycle it is impossible to call it, as the cliff edge of the furlough scheme looms with the fear of a mass of redundancies hitting economic activity and confidence levels knocking onto a reduction in house price values as well as activity levels in Q4 through to 2021. All we can say at the moment is that the market is surprisingly buoyant, and we hope this is sustained through more government stimulus aimed at keeping this momentum.
As the easing of lockdown continues, public confidence increases and people are becoming more active in the property marketplace. Despite pessimistic speculation, the UK housing market remains strong as we are yet to see evidence of property prices plummeting.
Stock Levels – New Instructions For Sale
The following chart shows the volume of properties that have come to the market throughout 2020. These have been compared to a benchmark which has been calculated as the average volume of instructions observed throughout 2019.
June 2020 marks the turning point for instruction levels exceeding the 2019 benchmark across the UK. This sustained level of activity demonstrates confidence is increasing for UK vendors following the drastic trough experienced during lockdown.
Demand Levels – Sales Agreed
The following chart shows the volume of properties that have had offers accepted, demonstrating the demand that the UK has for property purchases. These have been compared to a benchmark which has been calculated as the average volume of sales agreed observed throughout 2019.
June 2020 also marks the turning point for buyer demand as sales agreed exceeds the 2019 benchmark across the UK. This further demonstrates consumer confidence is increasing as the UK public are not afraid to commit to making one of the most expensive purchases in their lifetimes.
The following chart shows the median initial asking price for property listings. The stark increased levels of asking prices seen throughout the last 7 weeks is a metric for vendor confidence, as listings are not priced at more competitive levels. These have been compared to a benchmark which has been calculated as the median asking price observed throughout 2019.
As the inflated median initial asking price is set by vendors and their instructed agents, it would be interesting to see if these prices are matched by buyers, which we will investigate in a subsequent client briefing once the HMLR price paid dataset has caught up with property transactions around the lockdown period