2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year so far, with many expecting house prices to decline sharply. However, the property market has proven to be resilient.
During the first quarter of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and the UK went into lockdown, house prices began to decrease. However, as soon as we began to emerge from lockdown and property valuations were able to resume, they began to recover; further boosted by the stamp duty holiday announcement in July.
Recent figures from RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) suggests that there has been a spike in demand for houses with or near green spaces. As a consequence, all regions in the UK apart from London are seeing a growth in house prices. In a recent study by RICS, 83% of respondents believed that desire for houses with gardens would continue to increase. Furthermore, the survey revealed that 79% of respondents felt that the demand for properties near green spaces would also grow. Potential buyers are also placing more importance on home office space and good internet connections.
The gap between the number of prospective tenants and rental properties available continues to grow, as it has since 2016. Research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that in the first half of the year, rent increased on average by 1.5% across the UK, and predicts that rental rates will increase by 2-3% by 2025 unless more buy to let property becomes available. Research has also shown that more landlords purchased property in the first half of the year, likely taking advantage of low mortgage rates and the stamp duty holiday.
Data has been sourced from UK Finance, Rightmove, Savills, RICS, Bank of England and HM Land Registry as well as other sources.