In Brief

Housing market bounces back with 137% increase in sales

Experts warn that backlog after lockdown freeze may be causing ‘temporary jump’

Property sales in England have rebounded to pre-coronavirus levels, with the number of new sales agreed rising by 137% since the housing market reopened last month.

More homes were sold last week than the same time last year, and buyer demand is 54% stronger than it was before the government effectively suspended the sector on 27 March, reports The Times.

Richard Donnell, director of research at property portal Zoopla, says the boost in sales is down to a mix of factors and “is not solely explained by a return of pent-up demand”.

“Covid has brought a whole new group of would-be buyers into the housing market,” he explained. “Activity has grown across all pricing levels, but the higher the value of a home, the greater the increase in supply and sales as people look to trade up.”

However, London is yet to see the same level of rebound as the rest of the country, reports Property Reporter

“New sales in London are lagging as buyers look at commuting and moving to the regions,” said Donnell.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda - try The Week magazine. Start your trial subscription today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Four weeks after the unfreezing of the market, property sales in the capital remain 24.8% lower than before the coronavirus lockdown, reports The Guardian. 

Meanwhile, Scotland and Wales have continued to record low levels of new sales as their housing markets remain closed, but a rebound boost is expected once business resumes.

However, experts have warned that the nationwide sales surge could be short-lived.

“The charts are off the scale but I do think this is a one-off surge in demand, a temporary jump,” Donnell said. “No one truly knows what the economic impact [of Covid-19] is going to be. The housing market is purely an extension of the economy and I am very cautious about the second half of the year.”

Recommended

House prices fall as sellers race to beat tax break deadline
Property for sale signs in London, England
In Brief

House prices fall as sellers race to beat tax break deadline

‘Ethnic minorities are more hesitant about taking the vaccine - I can understand why’
A pharmacist fills a syringe with the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine.
Instant Opinion

‘Ethnic minorities are more hesitant about taking the vaccine - I can understand why’

Prince Andrew used internet troll to attack abuse accuser
Prince Andrew attends a service at Manchester Cathedral marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme
The latest on . . .

Prince Andrew used internet troll to attack abuse accuser

Has Johnson learnt his lesson on overpromising?
Boris Johnson bumps elbows with a first responder as she gets her vaccination
Behind the scenes

Has Johnson learnt his lesson on overpromising?

Popular articles

How scientists developed a Covid-19 vaccine in record time
A nurse prepares a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
In Focus

How scientists developed a Covid-19 vaccine in record time

Stalin-themed kebab shop closes after one day
Tall Tales

Stalin-themed kebab shop closes after one day

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 18 Jan 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 18 Jan 2021

Free 6 issue trial then continue to