£100 billion in accidental savings help drive mini housing boom
While London hasn’t seen house prices rise as steeply as other areas, some boroughs have bucked the trend during the UK’s mini property boom.
Haringey in north London has seen the capital’s biggest rise in asking prices since the start of the coronavirus pandemic – up 10.6% on a year ago, taking the average house price to £649,760. Brent, where prices have risen by 6.3% has seen the fifth highest rises.
Across London prices have risen 3.5% since December 2019, taking the average asking price to £620,986. This compares to a 6.6% rise over the past 12 months nationwide.
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As well as the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday, the boom has been attributed to “accidental savers”. While many people have struggled financially during the pandemic, limited lifestyles mean others have saved, giving them the buying power to drive up demand.
According to Rightmove, 650,000 sales will complete during the first three months of next year. Tim Bannister from the property portal said: “The new year is typically a time for resolutions and many will see it as an opportunity to draw a line under 2020, which may well include a fresh start in a new home for those who have not already acted.”
“Interest rates remain at near-record lows and we expect greater availability of low-deposit mortgages next year. These two factors will help to oil the wheels for home purchases by the accidental savers who have collectively saved £100 billion during the pandemic restrictions.”
It currently takes an average of 54 days to sell a property in London – up from 49 days in October, due to the huge spike in demand. This means anyone who makes an offer in early January could potentially complete before the stamp duty holiday ends on 31 March 2021, though some commentators believe this will be tight.
Read more about this story in the Evening Standard Homes & Property.