British people spent a total of 15.9 billion minutes on the property search site in 2020, a 31 per cent increase on the previous year.
The housing market became inaccessible for many during the first lockdown last year. Since last summer, however, the numbers of house sales and prices have risen. The latest Nationwide survey shows: house prices rose by 10.9 per cent in the year to May, the fastest pace in seven years. The number of transactions reached a record high of 183,000 in March, and this is four times more than 42,000 in April 2020.
Average house price in the UK, 2019-2021
Source: Nationwide data
The total mortgages accounted for £11.8 billion in March, and it was the highest monthly total since records began in 1993. This record shows the improvement of the economic situation in the UK.
The Bank of England, decided to maintain the base rate at 0.1% this month, and increased its economic forecast. This measure reflects improving consumer confidence as the vaccine rollout and restart of the economy continues.
The Bank expects UK GDP growth of 7.25% this year, up from 5%. The UK economy can surpass its pre-pandemic size much earlier than expected, in the final quarter of this year.
The effect of stamp duty led to a decline of 45% in net sales in April compared to March, as LonRes data shows. We expect real estate market activity will remain strong during the rest of Q2.
Parts of the UK property market faced a supply shortage. Governmental programmes to support more house building are slightly behind the schedule.
Compared to 12 months ago, there were 25% fewer properties listed for sale in England and Wales in March this year, according to the OnTheMarket data. Prices in prime central London grew by 0.3% in the year to May.
Interestingly enough, even in the midst of a pandemic crisis, London’s prime real estate market outperforms Moscow by the scale of ten. From January until April, London has seen 142 property sales for more than £5mln each. At the same time, only 14 such deals have been completed in Moscow (RBC data). The number of sales in prime London property markets in spring close to become the highest in a decade.
ORACLE CAPITAL GROUP is an investment and real estate development consultancy. We specialise in residential and commercial property projects. We provide accountancy and tax services for buy-to-let companies.