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Surge in property sales and prices

There’s so much conflicting information going around about the economy and the housing market at the moment but actually the housing market is pretty strong.

August saw the biggest monthly rise in property prices in 16 years, with prices reaching a new record high, resulting in the average price of a home in the UK of £245,747.

This is 5.2% higher than last year and experts believe the reason for the increase is due to two factors – pent up demand from lockdown earlier on in the year, and the stamp duty holiday. The cut to stamp duty allows buyers to pay no stamp duty on the first £500,000, until March 2021.

Different lenders and organisations may all be quoting slightly different figures and percentages, but they all agree on the upwards trend in the market both in terms of the volume of properties being sold, and the selling prices being achieved.

Russell Galley, Managing Director of Halifax, commented, ‘A surge in market activity has driven up house prices through the post-lockdown summer period, fuelled by the release of pent-up demand, a strong desire amongst some buyers to move to bigger properties, and of course the temporary cut to stamp duty.’

According to the Bank of England, mortgage approvals in July reached the same level as before the lockdown, while HMRC has reported that 70,170 homes were sold in July, up 14.5% from June.

Jamie Smart, Director of local estate agent smarthomes, stated, ’The market has bounced back incredibly quickly – it has surprised all of us just how strong the local market is and how confident buyers and sellers are. We’ve also noticed a change in the type of properties buyers are looking for – space and gardens have shot up their priority list.’

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