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Properties for sale fall 12% as lockdown ‘shakes market’

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There are fewer new homes on the market but demand remains high, pushing up prices
Properties for sale fall 12% as lockdown ‘shakes market’

The flow of new stock on the market has been reduced by the third lockdown, falling 12% in January 2021 compared to the previous year, said Zoopla.

The property portal said that sellers have held back from putting their homes on the market as Covid surged in the early weeks of the year.

However buyer demand remains undiminished, driven by the rush to purchase a home in time to beat the stamp duty deadline on 31st March. Demand is 13% higher than this time last year.

This combination of rising demand and restricted supply is driving up house prices, which are running nationally at 4.3% year on year growth – the highest rate Zoopla has recorded since April 2017.

Where are prices rising fastest?

Wales is the fastest growing country with prices rising at 5.4% year on year.

At a city level, Liverpool has reached a 15 year high growth rate, with house prices up +6.3% on the year. Manchester is close behind with a growth rate of +6%, returning to levels of inflation last seen two years ago.

And regionally, the North West, the North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber are all recording decade high house price growth of up to 5.4%

Prices in London are +3.1% higher over the last year but this is way off the 20% annual growth rate recorded in July 2014.

Richard Donnell, research & insight director at Zoopla, said: “The strength of the market in 2020 has eroded the available number of homes for sale and this will mean continued upward pressure on house prices in the short term. The most affordable parts of the UK are recording the highest rate of price growth for 10 years up to 5.4% a year. We still expect house price growth to slow towards 1% by the end of the year.

“The rush to beat the stamp duty deadline continues and sellers who agreed to buy a home in 2020 would reasonably expect to make the stamp duty saving. Delays mean we expect up to 70,000 sales agreed in 2020 to miss the deadline meaning the case for a short extension is growing.”

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