‘Interesting year’: UK property for sale ‘woefully short’ and ‘driving prices skyward’
HMRC'S property transaction statistics were released today, showing that residential transactions in December 2021 was 7.6 higher than the month prior. However, experts are warning that the lack of houses on the market are driving house prices up.
By SOPHIE HARRIS
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The provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in December 2021 was 113,470, according to the monthly property data from HMRC. This was 11.8 percent higher than November 2021, showing more and more Britons are deciding to move home
According to Rightmove, the average price of a home on the market in January is £341,019, 7.6 percent higher than in January 2021.
Overall, UK house prices rose by more than 10 percent in 2021, the fastest growth in 15 years, according to Nationwide.
According to experts, prices are likely to rise into 2022.
Industry experts have also commented on the HMRC data, warning Britons that despite many looking to move, available property on the market is scarce.
‘Interesting year’: UK property for sale ‘woefully short’ and ‘driving prices skyward’ (Image: Getty)
According to experts, prices are likely to rise into 2022
According to experts, prices are likely to rise into 2022 (Image: Getty)
Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “Today’s figures conclude an interesting year for the housing market, with the typically quieter month of December seeing double digit growth from November 2021.
“While lower than the transaction heights of earlier in the year, and down considerably from activity in December of the previous year, we’re seeing a market still buoyed by those seeking a better way of life as opposed to being motivated by the financial savings of the Stamp Duty Holiday.
Property transactions were down 20 percent in December 2021 compared to the year previous.
The expert added: “Whilst we anticipate that low stock levels will continue to steer the housing market into 2022, today’s transactions are still sitting ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Of course, wider sentiment around higher costs of living when paired with rising interest rates could serve to cool the market but we aren’t seeing this deter homeowners so far across our branches with buyers snapping up property from off-plan projects to historic country estates.”
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Last year saw many more people opting to rent, with the future of working uncertain.
The expert predicts that the months to come will see many more people buying, as the Government lifts the mandatory working from home rule.
Nick said: “Buyers will likely grow in confidence when making a permanent decision on where to live in the coming months as they get a better understanding of their commuting requirements.
“We therefore expect to see an uplift in sales activity from spring onwards.”
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One expert said it is clear to see that the “desire” for moving house is still high, despite 2021 marking the end of the Stamp Duty holiday.
Paul McGerrigan, CEO at Loan.co.uk, said: “The December property transactions data shows a 7.6 percent increase in sales volume over the previous month in what was a strong end to a frenzied year for property purchases, with apparently no let-up in sight.
“Whilst figures are 20 percent down on December 2020, this is to be expected at the end of a fervent year which has seen such incredible volumes of property bought and sold, largely aided by the Stamp Duty holiday, which has helped fuel around 1.5 million house purchases across the UK.
“It’s clear that desire for property is still high, fuelled mainly by house-hunters’ desire for increased space and many businesses’ increasing flexibility over employees’ working locations which is driving decentralisation.
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Average UK house price growth in 2021
Average UK house price growth in 2021 (Image: NC)
“Supply of new homes coming onto the market is still woefully short, driving prices skyward.”
The expert said he expects a gradual slowing of the market in 2022.
According to Chestertons, the London property market is also suffering from a lack of homes on the market.
Estate agent Chestertons said London’s property market ended on a high in December, as the number of prospective buyers enquiring about properties was up 20 percent compared to the same period previous.
Whilst buyer demand was strong, the number of available properties on the market shrunk by 10 percent.
As a result, house prices rose and 54 percent fewer sellers were willing to drop their asking prices, with the average property price in London standing at £681,427.
Guy Gittins, CEO of Chestertons, said: “London’s property market cannot currently meet the demand from house hunters, which, inevitably, has led to rising prices and a very competitive market for buyers.
“To secure their ideal property, buyers are advised to put themselves in the best possible position by having their finances and paperwork in place prior to starting their search as it will enable them to act fast.
“We expect the market to remain buoyant for at least the first quarter of 2022 as London is seeing the return of office workers, international students as well as Londoners who left the capital during the peak of the pandemic but are now seeking a return to the hustle and bustle of the city.”