The ongoing pandemic and stop-start nature of lockdown measures are changing the way many of us view property. With new research from Rightmove showing that the lure of village life has never been so strong.
The recent figures from the portal are despite the seven-week market closure between March and May, and with almost four months of activity still to go.
While nationally the market is still playing catch up, now down 6% year-to-date on the same period in 2019, local markets are well on track to recording a significantly higher number of transactions by the end of the year than they did in 2019.
The number of sales that have been agreed in the village of Fair Oak, located between Winchester and Southampton, is already up by over a quarter (27%) when comparing 1st January to 6th September of this year, with the full year of 2019. This increases to a massive 78% when comparing 1st January to 6th September with the same time period in 2019, and takes the top spot on the list. Asking prices in the area are up 6% compared to last year, at £364,066.
Second on the list is the affluent civil parish of Formby, home to one of the most expensive streets in Merseyside, where sales agreed are up 12% compared to all of 2019, and 55% up comparing the year to date. Agents report that properties that last year would have taken three months to find a buyer are being snapped up within days.
There are no areas of London where sales numbers have overtaken 2019’s full-year figures yet, but end-of-the-tube-line Upminster is the strongest market, with sales agreed up 42% so far this year on the same period last year.
Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said, “The national sales agreed trend is an important and early indicator of future completed transactions and it’s encouraging to see that whilst it’s still playing catch up, it has been improving at pace over the past few months. National statistics are drawn from hundreds of local markets, with villages and market towns peppered across the country benefitting most from the post-lockdown boom in activity and a shift in buyers seeking out more serene scenery.
“This is great news for sellers thinking of coming to market in these areas, but it will exacerbate the bottleneck that’s continuing to brew for conveyancers already finding it challenging to handle the surge in deals being done. The key now will be for would-be sellers and those already on the market to get as much legally required information about their home ready as possible, to help create a speedier buying and selling process.”