A Reflection on the April 2021 Figures Update
March 2021 had the highest levels of property sales agreed since our records began. We announced that the property market was busier than ever, and promised to monitor this trend with interest.
The figures for April 2021 clearly demonstrate that property demand in the UK is still extraordinarily high.
Property Sales Volumes April 2021: Key Figures
Sales agreed for April 2021 totalled 157k. This is slightly below March 2021, which came in at 162k.
When we compare April’s figures to April 2019 (as a 2020 comparison is not possible due to lockdown 1.0), sales agreed are up a whopping 57%.
Due to the Easter holidays, there were 20 working days in April vs 23 in March. If we make adjustments to take this into account, April actually represents an increase on sales agreed compared to March.
Volume of Property Sales Agreed: 2019 vs 2021
2021 has been an extraordinary year for property demand. The following chart compares figures with 2019:
This illustrates the remarkable levels of demand this year, especially over the last 2 months.
Why is Property Demand so High?
After spending extended periods of time at home, it's likely that many people desire a change of scenery or something their current home can’t offer. The conditions of the pandemic have created a unique set of circumstances, bringing together many factors that affect property demand.
Firstly, there’s still pent up demand from lockdown periods that essentially put the property market on hold. Secondly, most people have spent extra time in their homes, giving them a chance to review their surroundings and think about what they really want from a home. Finally, many people are experiencing changes in their personal lives that influence their living decisions. For example, greater access to remote work, changes to personal finances, and changes in profession amongst many others.
Lockdown restrictions also created the bizarre situation that often the only people we came into any contact with other than those living under our own roof were our neighbours. This forced our neighbourhoods under the microscope. Those feeling the loneliness of isolation may feel the need to seek out a sense of community, whereas others may be feeling crowded and seeking solitude.
Everyone’s reasons are different, but there are a lot of factors that have conspired recently to drive demand. If nothing else, living with lockdown restrictions has turned our focus to our immediate surroundings. Our homes have been our lives! Of course, the Stamp Duty Holiday has also had a big impact on property demand, but based on the strength of recent figures we do not feel this is solely responsible for the buoyancy of the property market this year.
Property is Selling Fast!
So far this year, newly listed properties are selling extremely fast. This is likely no surprise if you recall our recent analysis that discovered a UK property shortage. We analysed the speed of property sales by examining the percentage of new instructions selling in 2 weeks after listing:
- In Jan-April 2019, 14% of new property listings sold in 2 weeks.
- In Jan-April 2021, 27% of new property listings sold in 2 weeks.
- In March 2021 and April 2021, the percentage of new property listings sold in 2 weeks was double that of March & April 2019.
In terms of sales agreed (not completed), property is selling in record time frames. So we’re selling more property than ever, faster than ever.
Why is UK Property Selling so Fast This Year?
With high levels of demand mismatched with a lack of supply, buyers are finding it harder to find the home of their dreams. Chances are, when they do find a home that suits their requirements they know they have to act fast to secure it.
Lack of supply is still an issue that will affect the property market significantly this year. We will continue to monitor this, as well as the overall buoyancy of the property market as this extraordinary year progresses.
For more information, or to learn more about our property market insights, then please contact Katy Billany, (Our Executive Director for Estate Agency Services) at email@example.com.