Surge in property market activity led by prime property demand boom

26 Aug 2020

Britain’s post-lockdown property market rebound has been driven by increased demand for prime property, according to data from estate agents Knight Frank.

Ever since the property market resumed in mid-May, activity has bounced back at a surprisingly quick rate due to the release of pent-up demand. 

According to Knight Frank’s latest research published earlier this week, the most noteworthy surge in deals agreed since the end of lockdown happened in the prime market, which includes the most expensive properties. 

The estate agent noted that the quick rebound matches a similar trend recorded in the period following the global financial crisis over a decade ago.

The number of sales subject to contract for properties worth over £1 million as of the week ending 16 August jumped 100% year-on-year, Rightmove revealed. 

This surge was even higher for properties valued between £750,000 and £1 million, which were up 118%. 

However, the number of deals for properties priced up to £500,000 increased by only 53%. 

An analysis of total sales subject to contract conducted by Rightmove showed a 61% hike compared to the same week in 2019. 

The number of sales in London climbed 68% year-on-year, according to Knight Frank’s research; while for the country overall the agency recorded a massive 158% jump.

Oliver Knight, head of residential development research at Knight Frank said: “Such a strong rebound reflects the ongoing release of pent-up demand following lockdown, coupled with the recent cut to stamp duty.

“It is also likely that there are wider behavioural shifts in play, as people reassess their housing needs – the ‘escape to the country’ narrative is one that has been covered in detail,” he added.

Back in July, UK chancellor Rishi Sunak rolled out a stamp duty holiday as part of his summer budget statement, increasing the limit at which people are required to pay the stamp duty property tax from £125,000 to £500,000.

House prices in Britain soared as a result of the tax cut, which is due to remain in place until the end of March 2021.