Covid-19 has sparked a ‘space race’ among households fleeing cities and looking for bigger homes. An attempt to recover the market after the lockdown ended turned into a raging boom after the Chancellor cut stamp duties in England and Northern Ireland until March 31, 2021. Wales and Scotland have followed suit, although the cuts haven’t been so generous. In England and Northern Ireland, buyers were able to save £ 10,000 on a £ 400,000 property and £ 15,000 on a £ 500,000 property.
The average UK house price started the year at £ 239,927, according to mortgage lender Halifax, fell back to £ 237.00 after the first foreclosure, then climbed to £ 253,243. Between late June and late November, prices saw the fastest five-month gain since 2004.
The pandemic triggered remarkable changes in what we wanted in a home. The Zoopla website analyzed buyers’ research and found that the popularity of open-plan living is dropping sharply (quite uncomfortable when working from home), while a home office or study and gardens became the priority. “Detached”, “rural” and “isolated” have become the fourth, fifth and sixth most common search terms in Zoopla, because we have avoided metropolitan life.
Despite this, the biggest price hikes in 2020 haven’t happened in rural idylls, according to the Rightmove establishment’s website, but in parts of Greater Manchester.
He named Eccles, four miles west of Manchester city center, as Britain’s No.1 property market for 2020. Average prices in the suburbs, where much of the market is made up of three-bed terraces and semi-finished, jumped 16% in 2020, to £ 213,706 from £ 184,299. Across Manchester, at Chadderton, prices are up 10.9%, while in Middleton they are 10.8% ahead. There were also big gains in parts of Liverpool, with Wavertree up 12.2%.
Meanwhile, one of London’s healthiest suburban towns, Sevenoaks in Kent, saw the biggest price drop in 2020. The city’s typical property value fell by £ 12,500 over the course of the year, Rightmove said. But they started very high in the first place, going from £ 693,569 to £ 681,069.
The pace of the increase is unlikely to continue in 2021: the stamp duty holiday is expected to end, and a month later the holiday program will also be extended. At the same time, purchasing assistance has been redesigned to focus on first-time buyers. For them, at least, a slowdown should come as a relief.