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Lockdown drove new wave of movers to enter market – as demand spikes

28% of those looking to sell or change rental property had no previous plans prior to the lockdown – with demand up 32%, according to survey.

Richard Reed

Data revealed in Rightmove’s June House Price Index shows record numbers of owners asking for valuations, and daily new listings are higher than this time last year.

The property portal also revealed that search interest last week was 61% higher than last year, and up year on year in all regions.

The June survey of nearly 5,000 home movers shows the figures are driven by two factors:

  • Only 7% of vendors have withdrawn from the market due to the pandemic
  • 28% of people with no previous plans to move are now joining them

When asked what impact the pandemic had had on their plans, only 7% of vendors and 6% of buyers who were planning a move before lockdown said they no longer were.

The vast majority of movers who flooded the market after the December election, leading to a buoyant early 2020, are still planning to buy, sell and rent.

However, the survey also found that of those who had no plans to buy, sell or rent before lockdown, 28% are now planning to do so.

32% increase in demand

The figures are reinforced by another Rightmove study, which contrasted the number of people contacting estate agents about properties over the past two weeks, compared with the first two weeks in March – the average for England was an increase of 32%.

The top 10 places with the biggest increase in buyer demand over the past two weeks compared to March are dominated by towns in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber

Picturesque and rural Hereford in the West Midlands is top of the list, and the seaside town of Hastings is the only place from the South to make the top ten list

The remaining eight are all in the North-West and Yorkshire and the Humber, with Wigan, Rochdale, Wilmslow and Scarborough making up the rest of the top five

Since the market reopened in England it’s typical family homes of three or four bedrooms that are achieving closest to asking price, with buyers agreeing to pay 98% on average in England

This compares to 97.5% of the asking price being achieved for first-time buyer properties and 97.4% for larger, top-of-the-ladder homes.

Stamp duty cut

Rightmove has also released figures showing a dramatic spike in views following the Chancellor’s announcement of a stamp duty holiday on properties under £500,000.

Visits to Rightmove hit 8.5 million on Budget day, up from the previous day which was a record at 7.7 million

The number of people phoning and emailing estate agents about property for sale hit a new record on Wednesday, up 1% on the previous record set on 11 June and up 93% on the same day in 2019

Enquiries about new-build homes also hit a record, up 21% on the previous record set back on 11 June

Request from potential sellers to have their home valued hit a record high, up 35% on the previous record set back on 22 June and up 89% on the same day in 2019.

July 9, 2020

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