Residential Property Activity surges across UK

Boris Johnson’s remarkable election victory has lifted the UK residential property market. Residential real estate deals are soaring in north England, the Midlands and Scotland. The activity results from the Conservative government’s promise to regenerate the regions

Low prices are a major incentive

Average residential property prices in the north of England range between £131,000 (US$ 170,000) and £169,000; in the Midlands, £198,000; Wales £173,000 and Scotland

Average London prices reached £475,000 towards the end of last year. In the prime, expensive neighbourhoods such as Kensington and Chelsea, residential properties averaged £1.25 million. Camden prices were around £838,000, City £712,000 and Tower Hamlets, including Canary Wharf, £421,000.

Supply rises to meet demand

Rightmove, a property website that displays properties for sale shows that more sellers are entering the market to meet demand. This contrasts with the uncertain 2019 pre-election period. Then buyers could buy apartments and houses at discounts of 5 to 10 per cent.

But the market is turning around maintains Rightmove analyst Miles Shipside. He estimates that seller’s prices have soared by 2.3%. This is a record rise for January.

The turnaround is the result of pent-up demand. This change suggests that there will be an active market in the spring, Mr Shipside says.

An extraordinary number of transactions

Over 1.3 million buyers checked potential properties after the December 12 election, calculates Rightmove, This is a 15% improvement compared to the same period, a year ago. Moreover, nearly 65,000 properties were marketed between Dec 8 and Jan 11. This is another record rise for deals at the beginning of the year.

Manning Stainton, estate agents in Yorkshire, north England had the best December since 2004, says managing director Mark Manning. January turnover also hummed.

London recovery

Renewed political and economic confidence have boosted turnover in London. LonRes, which monitors activity and prices in London, finds that more buyers and sellers have returned to the market.

Year on year, deals in prime London areas jumped by 34% in the fourth quarter of 2019. House sales at prices of £5 million-plus, for example, surged by 78 per cent. To be sure, sales turnover in this price bracket reached the highest levels since 2016.

Bargain hunting began before the election

Opportunistic foreign buyers took advantage of sterling’s devaluation and began buying before the election, LonRes reports. Locals who were confident that the Conservatives would win, also bought.

According to agents, overseas investors want to buy as soon as possible. They fear that the March budget will raise stamp duties on foreign property purchases.

© Copyright Neil Behrmann (First published in The Business Times Singapore)   For entertainment and investment ideas, why don’t you sample Neil’s books? They can be found via his Amazon author page: Neil’s financial thrillers Trader Jack- The Story of Jack Miner and its sequel Jack of Diamonds have had excellent reviews. Besides the pacy stories, they help readers understand gold and gold share trading, diamond markets, financial bubbles and crashes. Children 8 to 12 have also enjoyed Neil’s anti-war fantasy. You can read the fascinating background of the book and exceptional reviews via this link to Butterfly Battle-The Story of the Great Insect War

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