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Home buyer activity surges to pre-Coronavirus levels, latest research shows

Zoopla says estate agents are enjoying extraordinary boom in housing market revival, but warns spike is likely to be temporary.

Nigel Lewis

home buyer

Enquiries about properties for sale have increased by 88% percent over the past two weeks since the housing lockdown was lifted, exceeding pre-Coronavirus home buyer activity by 20%.

Zoopla has made the claim within its latest monthly Cities house price report, which also reveals that 60% of 2,000 home owners it quizzed who had planned to move before the Coronavirus crisis began now want to restart their moves.

But the portal has added several sobering caveats to its figures, predicting that the ongoing surge in activity within the front end of the property market is likely to be temporary.

And new sales agreed, SSTC, are still running at just 10% of normal levels prior to the lockdown period.

Also, the ‘spike’ revealed by the data is only evident in England – the rest of the UK has witnessed a much more modest bounce back.

“The COVID crisis and 50 day lockdown have created an unexpected one-off boost to housing demand,” says Richard Donnell, Director of Research & Insight at Zoopla.

“Millions of UK households have spent a considerable amount of time in their homes over the lockdown period and missed out on hours of commuting.

“Many households are likely to have re-evaluated what they want from their home. This could well explain the scale of the demand returning to the market.”

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops (left), says, “Since the housing market re-opened, we have seen a flurry of enquiries from buyers. We have a strong pipeline of pending sales which started to move within the first hours of the market restarting.”

Read more about the post-lockdown market.

May 27, 2020

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