In March few estate agents would have predicted that 2020 has turned to be the busiest for a decade, and yet today Propertymark has revealed that 2020 has seen activity not witnessed since 2010.
Member agents have reported an average of 403 house buyers registered per branch this year, up from 320 last year. And LSL, operator of Reeds Rains, Your Move and Marsh & Parsons and other brands, this morning has said that its sales exchange pipeline (at 31 October) was the highest for the Group in over ten years and was more than 50% above the same date in 2019.
This is higher than the previous record of 379 in 2015. In 2010 it was just 260 and the kind of growth during 2020 that few other industries have enjoyed.
And if economists are wondering why house prices have continued to rise this year despite the pandemic lockdowns, then Propertymark’s figures also show why.
Each estate agency branch this year has had just 39 properties available to buy, down from 63 per branch in 2010. and sales have been booming too – at ten per branch, the highest figure over the past decade.
“Both the sales and rental markets have remained remarkably resilient throughout this trying year, despite market closure between March and May,” says Mark Hayward (left), the new Chief Policy Advisor at Propertymark.
“The prioritisation by the government of a functioning property market and subsequent implementation of the stamp duty holiday as well as measures taken to keep the rent flowing within the private rental sector, have allowed for record breaking levels of house sales and rental accommodation.
“We are confident this boom will continue through the new year but grow increasingly concerned about the impact of the stamp duty cliff edge on 31st March 2021.”