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Lockdown created ‘unexpected one-off boost to housing demand’ – Zoopla

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  • 27/05/2020
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Lockdown created ‘unexpected one-off boost to housing demand’ – Zoopla
Pent-up housing demand led to an 88 per cent surge in activity the week after the housing market in England reopened, Zoopla Cities Index Report shows.

 

The property website said the short-term rebound was to be expected, as the 50-day closure of the market took place during a busy period. 

Some 373,000 sales were stalled and Zoopla said the outlook of the market depended on how many of these sales completed.

The demand for housing at the beginning of May was 20 per cent higher than that seen in the beginning of March. 

For the week beginning 7 May, demand in Portsmouth and Southampton grew 40 per cent higher than pre-coronavirus levels. Demand also rose in Newcastle, Oxford and Leeds. 

According to a recent survey conducted by the firm, 60 per cent of buyers plan to continue with their move. 

Richard Donnell (pictured), director of research and insight at Zoopla, said: “The Covid-19 crisis and 50-day lockdown has created an unexpected one-off boost to housing demand. 

“Many households are likely to have re-evaluated what they want from their home. This could well explain the scale of the demand returning to the market.” 

 

Agreed pricing 

Zoopla said it expected pricing levels for deals agreed before the lockdown to resume, but said some buyers may try to renegotiate and put downward pressure on prices. 

For new sales, the company predicts demand to weaken resulting in further downward pressure on pricing in the second half of the year. 

 

House price increase 

House prices in the UK saw a 1.9 per cent year-on-year increase to £253,900 in April, a 0.6 per cent rise on the previous three months. 

This was down from the two per cent annual growth seen in March. Zoopla said it expected this decline to become more pronounced in the months to come. 

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