Zoopla reports 50% annual uptick in pipeline house sales

A total of 418,000 properties worth £112bn are currently progressing through the sales pipeline, amounting to a 50% uptick in volume compared to the same period in 2019, new analysis from Zoopla has revealed.

The latest findings in the monthly House Price Index by Zoopla showed that this upsurge in activity followed a significant boost in demand after the extended market closure earlier this year.

Between July and October, sales agreed increased between 40% and 60% compared to the same period in 2019.
The property specialist’s data also revealed that new sales agreed were up 9% year-on-year in June, growing to 42% in July, and peaking at 62% in August. Zoopla stated that these sales are now in the transaction pipeline, motioning towards completions.

“Levels of housing market activity are slowly becoming less frantic as we approach the year end,” commented Zoopla research and insight director, Richard Donnell. “There is a sizeable pipeline of business for the property, lending and conveyancing industry to convert into completed sales before Christmas and into Q1 2021.

“The stamp duty deadline will focus the minds of committed movers in the near term, which will support sales volumes and make for a strong first quarter of sales completions in 2021.

“Those who leave it to January to start their search for a home will be cutting it fine – just half of sales agreed in January will convert into a completed sale by the end of March so those looking to beat the stamp duty deadline will need to be well prepared.”
Zoopla’s index also indicated that the flow of new buyers into the housing market is slowing for this time of year. Data showed that demand for homes is still 40% higher than it was in 2019, but has slowed back to the pre-COVID levels of early March. House price growth, however, is still expected to increase towards +4% over the next two to three months.

The property expert noted that national measures of housing market activity are pointing to “strong market conditions”, but suggested the picture is “far from uniform” across the country.
Growing economic uncertainty and reduced credit availability have meant a relative decline in the share of new sales being recorded in less wealthy demographics, whereas Zoopla has seen an increase in new sales in areas with wealthier demographics, and where homeowners have been less directly impacted by the recession. The property expert said this polarisation is set to become more apparent by mid-2021.

Donnell added: “The strength of the market nationally is masking weakness in parts of the market where sales are slowing in areas where households are typically on lower incomes and more sensitive to economic uncertainty and more restricted credit availability. This market polarisation is set to become a growing feature of the market as we move into 2021.”

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