It’s Official – The UK Property Market is Busier than Ever

In March 2021, we’ve seen the highest number of property sales agreed since our records began in 2009. So it’s official, the UK property market is now busier than ever.

Property Sales Volumes: Key Figures

Almost 162,000 sales were agreed to during March 2021. This figure is:

  • 77% higher than March 2020
  • 47% higher than March 2019

It’s worth noting that March 2020 figures cover some of the first national lockdown period, which began on 23rd March 2020.

Why are Property Sales Volumes Agreed so High for March 2021?

In order to assess this, we’ve ranked property sales volumes per month since June 2016 in order of volume. The findings illustrate that the Stamp Duty Holiday is the key driver for high property sale volumes.

Ranking of Sales Agreed Volume Per month

In the chart above, 7 out of the 10 top months fall in the period since Stamp Duty Land Tax was cut (highlighted in white).

In fact, the only two months since the Stamp Duty Holiday began that are missing from this list of top performers are December 2020 and January 2021. These are traditionally the slowest months of the year which is why they missed out in terms of pure volume. Comparatively, December 2020’s sales volume was the highest December since 2016 and January 2021 had the highest volume of any January. 

The Stamp Duty Holiday has clearly given property volumes a massive boost, but are there other factors at play?

Property Demand by Price Band

Change in The Breakdown of Sales Agreed by Price Band

When we compared property demand by price band for March 2021 with March 2020, we found the following: 

  • Property demand has risen most in the 750k+ price band
  • This is followed by the 350k-750k price band

This illustrates that mid to high priced property is fuelling the current peak in demand. If these buyers can complete in time, they stand to benefit the most from the stamp duty extension. They are also most likely to be able to find the money if they do miss the revised deadline. 

This analysis provides further evidence that the Stamp Duty Holiday has driven demand. But what other factors are having an impact on the appetite for property purchase?

Property Demand by UK Region

We also assessed property demand by region for March 2021 in comparison with March 2020:

Change in Breakdown of Sales Agreed by UK Region

  • Inner London is the most improved region
  • The South East and South West have also experienced increased demand
  • Decreased demand is seen in Scotland, where the Stamp Duty Holiday was not extended

We’ve recently explored the poor performance of property performance in London in comparison to the rest of the UK. Inner London has had relatively higher levels of property stock and an excess of flats with a lack of buyer demand. However, based upon only sales agreed in March it appears that inner London is beginning to win some of these sales back.

Lower property prices in inner London may have influenced the demand levels. Equally, a sense of hope as lockdown lifts and a realisation that workers are likely to return to the city may be influencing purchase decisions. Certainly, there are a series of factors influencing property demand today. We will continue to monitor this with interest and review how these trends progress.

If you would like to know more about If you would like to know more about our property market insights, then please contact Katy Billany, (Our Executive Director for Estate Agency Services) at katy.billany@twentyea.co.uk.

Posted on

22/04/2021 by Katy Billany

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