Four weeks ago, we reported that the property market was busier than ever and highlighted that March 2021 had seen the highest volume of demand for property (measured by the volume of sales agreed) of any month since our records began in 2009.
You may recall that 162k sales were agreed in March 2021.
Now that April 2021 has closed out, we can look at the same comparisons again as the surge in the demand for property continues. In April there were slightly less sales agreed at just over 157k.
This is 57% higher than in April 2019 and suggests that the demand in the property market is just simply not slowing down. Note that we can’t of course make a comparison to April 2020 due to lockdown 1.0. Whilst we understand that the April 2021 number of sales agreed is slightly less than the March 2021 number, we have to keep in mind that because of the Easter holidays, there were only 20 working days in April compared with 23 working days in March. Our view therefore is that if the figures were normalised, April represents an increase on March of the volume of sales agreed.
2021 Sales Agreed Volumes versus 2019
To illustrate how extraordinary demand in the property market is at present, the following chart compares 2021 by month with 2019.
Note that we have also added a line which plots the percentage increase from two years ago and as we highlighted above, April 2021 shows an increase from March when compared to the same months two years prior.
Property is Selling Fast!
The second thing that we looked at is how fast new property is selling. The following chart looks at the percentage of newly listed properties that are selling in two weeks in 2021 by month and compares this with 2019.
You can clearly see that in the first four months of 2019, that 14% of newly listed property sells in the first two weeks after listing, whereas in 2021 thus far, this number averages 27%. Note that in March 2021 and April 2021, this was double the percentage that sold in March and April 2019 in the first two weeks of the property coming to market.
So, not only do we have record volumes of sales agreed, but we also have record timeframes of property selling fast (and by this we mean the time to agree a sale rather than complete on one).
We have said before that we do not think the stamp duty holiday is entirely responsible for the peak in demand and the further we go into 2021, with a hard stop date on the stamp duty holiday, the more we remain convinced that the underlying performance of the property market is exceptionally strong.
The issue that remains is a distinct lack of supply.
We will of course be keeping a very close eye on what happens in May and beyond for you.