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Demand for housing jumps as lockdown loosens

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The sharp rise in enquiries is a result of pent-up demand being released into the market
Demand for housing jumps as lockdown loosens

Homebuyer demand has topped pre-lockdown levels, according to Zoopla, as 60% of potential buyers plan to continue their search for a home.

The property portal found that four in 10 aspriring buyers have decided to put their plans on hold, citing market uncertainty, loss of income, and diminished confidence in future finances as deterrents.

Temporary bounceback

In the week following 12th May, when the property market reopened, demand jumped by 88% and was 20% higher than at the start of March.

Demand has bounced back faster in cities along the south coast and in northern England. Portsmouth and Southampton are registering demand some 40% higher than in February this year with strong growth also recorded in Newcastle and Leeds.

However, with projections for a major decline in economic growth and rising unemployment, Zoopla expects the rebound in demand to be short-lived.

Richard Donnell, director of research & insight at Zoopla, said: “The scale of the rebound in demand for housing is welcome news for estate agents and developers, but it is also surprising given projections for a sharp rise in unemployment and a major decline in economic growth.

“The economic impacts of COVID will grow in the coming months and uncertainty is building. The majority of would-be movers plan to continue their search, encouraged by low mortgage rates and continued Government support for the economy.

“However, we expect the latest rebound in demand to moderate in the coming weeks as buyers and sellers start to exert greater caution. Further support from the Government can’t be discounted and would help limit the scale of the downside risks.”

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