According to Twenty CI, almost 162,000 property sales were agreed last month during March, which is the highest level recorded by the property data and statistics provider since datasets.
Based on the data, Nicky Stevenson, MD of Fine & Country UK, believes that demand within the property market will continue to rise with its only possible tether being the number of properties coming onto the market.
She said: “As expected, the Spring market is living up to the hype, with the extension of the stamp duty holiday continuing to have a positive impact on the market, along with that fact that consumer confidence is at a record high and people eager to move during the warmer months.”
Stevenson points out that according to the report from Twenty CI, since the stamp duty holiday was introduced in July last year, only two months are missing from the top ten all-time list in terms of sales agreed, which were December and January.
She continued: “Although December and January are traditionally slower months within the property market with people taking seasonal holidays and getting into the swing of a new year, December 2020 and January this year had the highest volumes of sales agreed when compared to any previous December or January on record.”
She notes that what is interesting is that demand for homes within the higher prices brackets has risen most significantly, particularly amongst homes above £750,000.
Stevenson commented: “What is clear from the data is that the mid to upper priced properties are the driving force behind the current high levels of demand in the housing market. This stands to reason, as homes priced above the £500,000 stamp duty threshold would have to most if benefit from the tax relief, that is provided they are able to make the deadline at the end of June.
“While the length of time taken for a property transaction to complete continues to widen, consumers are still confident and eager to move, which is reflected in the number of sales agreed. It also shows that at the higher end of the market, Stamp Duty is not the only driver and that desire for lifestyle change is also having an impact. We anticipate that this desire will continue far beyond the SDLT deadline.”
According to Stevenson many Fine & Country agents are reporting that they are inundated with enquiries as soon as a property is listed.
She added: “Demand is outstripping supply which is creating a frenzy around properties as soon as they hit the market. It is not uncommon for an agent to have multiple offers on a property within days of it listing, which has result in many properties currently selling over asking price.”