A quick glance at 2020 and 2021
During the month of October 2020, the United Kingdom Property Market was active, registering 9.8% and 8.1% higher residential transactions over September 2020 and October 2020, respectively. In the non-residential market, the transactions were higher 6.2% and 5.1% over September 2020 and October 2019, respectively.
HMRC and National Statistics's UK monthly property transactions commentary, 24 November 2020, reports:
the provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in October 2020 is 105,630, 8.1% higher than October 2019 and 9.8% higher than September 2020
the provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in October 2020 is 9,140, 5.1% lower than October 2019 and 6.2% higher than September 2020
the provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in October 2020 is 121,740, 13.7% higher than October 2019 and 23.7% higher than September 2020
the provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in October 2020 is 9,840, 6.1% lower than October 2019 and 12.8% higher than September 2020
The impetus seen in the market is driven by various factors more than one. But the opinions of the industry expert differ.
Stamp Duty Holiday
The Government introduced a stamp duty holiday to help first-time buyers jump on to the property ladder.
Deferral of Mortgage Payments
Some argue that the intervention of the Financial Conduct Authority by asking lenders to extend the availability of deferrals of mortgage payments is a key factor.
Average UK House Price
Temporary break and pent-up demand lock-down are two factors for rising in the current demand for properties, jumping average UK house price to £219,800.
Industry experts predict that the months leading to March 2021 would get crucial for the UK Housing Market. Media is widely promoting that the house prices will keep going up but some are sceptical of the path ahead. Experts claim that the market prices would be driven by the demand and supply ratio. Currently, there has been a huge demand in the UK housing market. maybe never seen before.
Lockdown & Social Media
A boom in house prices is also attributed to lockdown and social media. Social media websites, with pictures of properties located in scenic and countryside spots with lots of rooms, have created interest in the people sitting at home during the lockdowns. Owners living in one-bed, two-bed or studio apartments, say wow, we can afford to go for these properties as they cost same rent or mortgage that they are currently paying for.
Mass Migration is also seen as a source of rising housing demand. Internal migration from major cities to country-side, predominantly from London-outward, is an example. London people are seen flocking out of the city, heading to suburbs and to the more rural countryside. This trend is continuing for six months now and is expected to continue in the next six months.
Overseas Investors are also chasing properties to invest. Some consider such investment turns the UK housing market into speculation causing an unrealistic rise in demand and hence house prices. In such a situation, a large portion of the potential buyers of houses could not afford to buy a home.
In certain countries where they do not allow foreign investment in their housing market, they have much more stable and affordable prices. In certain countries where people are considered happy are those where foreign investment in housing markets are not allowed.
We all are currently seeing historically low mortgage interest rates in our country. Pandemic has allowed to let them stay at this level for quite some time, which offer a great temptation for the buyers to chase properties given their affordability to pay for monthly mortgage instalments. Any future rise in the interest rates could shift the owners underwater with negative equity.
With employment opportunities set to slump in the foreseeable future, some homeowners may find it difficult to maintain mortgage payments as they become due. A holiday in mortgage instalment payments could delay the housing crises a bit away, but in the absence of an indefinite or perpetual deferment, the housing crises will surface.
First-time buyers are now offered a 95% mortgage to help them climb on the property ladder. With some going underwater with negative equity, it will become difficult to avoid any housing crises.
The British Government is introducing initiatives and incentives to help first time buyers, owners and the property market in general. As we enter 2021, Government and maybe the mortgage lenders would have to plan the prevention of any potential property market crash.
UK Residential Transactions: Residential property refers to buildings used or suitable for use as a dwelling, or in the process of being constructed for use as a dwelling. It also includes the gardens and grounds of dwellings.
Non-residential property includes, but is not limited to:
any other land or property which is not residential
six or more residential properties bought in a single transaction
mixed use transactions
Neil McCoy Ward
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.