The post-lockdown surge in housing market activity has continued into its sixth week, as at least one agency’s indicators hit record levels.
Knight Frank reports that the number of offers accepted in the UK in the week ending 20 June was the highest on record.
The agency adds that since the market re-opened in mid-May, demand indicators have risen to levels that suggest sales and lettings transactions will increase over coming months.
However, it cautions that against a backdrop of mixed economic news, doubts surround the longevity of the current bounce.
“Demand built up as a result of the lockdown but also the political turbulence and changing tax landscape of recent years” says Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank.
“The market has picked up where it left off following December’s general election. However, we are not yet in a position to fully assess the economic impact of the pandemic, which means 2020 could produce a particularly uneven pattern of activity.”
Property transactions in May were 50 per cent lower than the figure recorded 12 months ago, provisional data from HMRC showed earlier this week, underlining the impact Covid-19 has had on property markets.
However, the total of 48,450 was a 16 per cent increase on April, suggesting transactions have bottomed out even if the future trajectory for the property market remains unclear.
Knight Frank says that it’s seen significant results on a number of fronts – it’s been the sixth highest week on record in London for the registration of new prospective buyers; the eighth highest week on record for the number of new instructions to sell in the UK; and the fourth highest week on record for viewings in the lettings market, despite the continued restrictions around social distancing and the use of PPE.