Surge in demand to delay house price falls – Zoopla

A surge in demand for property is expected to delay house price falls and push them towards the end of 2020, according to the latest UK House Price Index by Zoopla.

The property expert stated that the bulk of new pricing evidence continues to come from sales agreed before the UK lockdown, and that data on pricing for new sales agreed in the last four weeks is pointing to a “resumption in the upward pressure” on house prices seen at the start of the year.
The Index suggested that average asking prices for properties marked as sold on Zoopla, for example, which were rising at 7% in the first three months of the year, have returned to registering a similar growth rate over the first two weeks of June.

Zoopla added that most of these new sales agreed are likely to complete between August and October 2020, and that it expects this will show sustained UK house price growth of between +2% to +3% over the next quarter.

Subject to contract, the Index also indicated that the new sales agreed have grown the most in England, where the market reopened in May. The rebound in sales has been strongest in northern England – led by Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester – where sales are up to 20% higher than in February 2020.

Zoopla director of research and insight, Richard Donnell, commented: “The rebound in housing market activity has taken many in the industry by surprise. It is welcome news given the projections for falling economic growth and rising unemployment.

“Estate agents and developers are responding and using the upsurge in demand to rebuild their sales pipelines and open up their developments.
“We see returning pent up demand and new buyers entering the market creating upward pressure on prices in the face of a lower supply of homes for sale which has been exacerbated by the lockdown. House price growth is set to hold up in the near term and we expect the downward pressure on prices to come in the final months of the year as demand weakens.”

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