Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
4:00 AM 29th November 2021

UK Set To Record Busiest Housing Market Since 2007, As One In 16 Homes* Changes Hands In 2021

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay
2021 is set to be the UK’s busiest property market in 14 years in terms of property transactions, according to estate agent, Zoopla, in its monthly House Price Index.

Red hot market sees transactions boom

2021’s property market will be defined by the pandemic-led reevaluation of the home, with many households compelled to make a move. By the end of 2021, one in 16 homes will have changed hands, making it the busiest property market since 2007.

The elevated demand in the market is also boosting the rate of annual house price growth, which is tracking at 6.9% - up from 3.5% growth in October 2020.

While house price growth is running at a near seven year high, 6.9% growth marks a slight easing back from the above 7% growth recorded in August and September (see figure 1). Furthermore, quarterly figures indicate a slowdown in the overall pace of growth - down from 2.8% in July to 1.2% in October.

At a regional level, Wales continues its eight month run of registering the highest rate of house price growth, up at +10.8%, followed by the North West of England (+9.%). London offers a sharp contrast; after being most affected by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, it is registering more modest price growth of 2.3%.

At a city level, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield continue to show the highest rate of growth at 10.6%, 8.7% and 7.9% respectively, amid strong ongoing demand and the relative affordability of these cities.

Figure 1
Figure 1

Average UK house price accelerates

After 16 months of accelerating house price inflation, the average value of a UK home is now £240,000 - up from £200,000 five years ago. Over the past 12 months alone, average UK prices have risen by £15,500, with the South East and South West recording growth of more than £22,000.

House price growth continues to be underpinned by the supply and demand imbalance, with buyer demand running at +28% above the five-year average. By contrast, the supply of homes being listed for sale this year has been running between 5% and 10% below the 2017-2019 average.

This highlights the increased appetite for space among those purchasing homes since the start of the pandemic, with more demand for larger homes, especially in commuter zones and more rural areas, ultimately boosting average prices.

Stock of homes for sale down 40% - but expected to recover in 2022

Supply continues to be an overarching constraint on the market. The total stock of new homes for sale is down more than 40% on the five year average, but the depletion in stock diverges between houses and flats.

The number of houses available for sale is down more than 50% compared to the average levels over the last five years (see figure 2). However, the stock of flats for sale is also down on the five year average, but by a more moderate 15%

The contrast in stock availability is also reflected in price growth, with the average flat rising in value by 1.6% over the past year (just above the 1.2% five year average). Meanwhile, the annual price growth for all types of houses is running at 8.3% - almost double the five year average of 4.2% - fortified by demand.

Figure 2
Figure 2

Grainne Gilmore
Grainne Gilmore
Grainne Gilmore, Head of Research, Zoopla, comments: “New supply will start to rise at the turn of the year as households use the holiday period to make a decision around making a move.

“In typical years, the highly seasonal supply of homes being listed for sale slows in the run up to Christmas, but rises sharply in the new year. On average, the supply of listings at the end of January runs some 50% higher than the start of December.

“Buyer demand will remain strong moving into next year, but as the market starts to normalise in 2022, there may be an increase in the proportion of activity among movers, who are active in the market as sellers as well as buyers. This should ease the constraint in supply to some extent.

“Other factors that will affect prices next year include the looming economic headwinds in the shape of rising inflation – which will push household costs higher. Even with some interest-rate rises, mortgage rates are likely to remain relatively low compared to long-run averages, and there is more room for price growth across some of the most affordable housing markets.”

*One in 16 privately owned homes