Homes are taking 12 days less to sell since lockdown

Sellers and Estate Agents are finding buyers for listed properties more quickly in the wake of the lockdown as demand has boosted the market, according to research from property website Zoopla.

The research found that the average number of days to sell a home since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in May was 27 days, compared to 39 over the same period last year.

Zoopla said a post-lockdown mini boom in the housing market had continued during July, despite the UK officially going into recession, with activity at its strongest since 2015.

It said house price growth stood at an annual 2.5% in July, slightly down from 2.7% in June, with demand continuing to outpace supply.

Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: “Housing market conditions remain unseasonably strong despite the UK moving into recession. While the economy has contracted sharply and unemployment is rising, consumer spending has rebounded and purchasing manager indices are pointing to a wider rebound in the economy. This is positive but the unwinding of the furlough scheme and other government support is the next challenge that will test the strength of economic recovery.”

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The report highlighted strong demand for three-bedroom properties, which have been the quickest to be snapped up, with an average selling time of 24 days.

The time it takes to sell four and five bedroom houses has also decreased as home owners look for more space following the lockdown.

Bank of England data has pointed to the market bouncing back after the lockdown, with just over 40,000 mortgage approvals in June compared to a record low of 9,000 in May – though that was still well below levels seen in February.

However there are also signs, in data compiled by the Bank of England, that it could become harder to obtain mortgages in the coming months with lenders cutting the availability of credit.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a stamp duty holiday last month for homes worth up to £500,000 to try to revive the market in the wake of the pandemic.

Property website Rightmove has already charted a surge in property sales in July, with £37bn worth of deals agreed, up from £25bn in the same month last year.



John-Paul Ford Rojas, Business Reporter

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