While it is helpful to read average house prices and to understand how the market is performing in general, it is important to focus on your local area.
At Austin Property Services, we are local market specialists. We aim to provide you with guidance that is tailored to your needs, and to the needs of the local housing market.
We stay in touch with what is happening locally, but we also follow the latest research and studies across the country.
There is a gap in the housing market across the country
Richard Donnell, the director of research and insight at Zoopla, recently answered a range of questions on the property portal site.
One topic of considerable interest was the growing gap in the housing market, and the general economy. There is a growing feeling that “we are not all in this together”, and this can be seen in the housing market activity of 2020.
With the House Price Index referring to increasing polarisation in the property market, it is natural people are keen to learn what this means, and how it is seen in 2021.
Richard said; “National measures of housing market activity, such as house prices and sales volumes, are strong. But this picture is not uniform across the UK. There is uncertainty in some parts of the housing market, with rising unemployment and stricter lending among the economic pressures taking their toll. You can see fewer sales in less wealthy markets, where people are more sensitive to economic headwinds.”
Richard also said; “At the other end of the spectrum, there’s more activity in wealthier markets where homeowners feel the recession less acutely. This is also tied to the fact that the housing market in London and the south of England has been quite weak in recent years so it’s bouncing back more than other markets.”
There will be a longer-term impact on the housing market
When asked about the short and long-term effects of the second lockdown, Richard said; “The housing market is one of the bright parts of the economy, and the government has made sure that it remains open throughout the second lockdown. With people unable to get out and about as they normally would, the second lockdown will emphasise once again the importance of the home. People will keep re-evaluating their home and lifestyle. But despite the furlough and the mortgage payment holiday schemes both being extended, the economic pressures remain.”
Richard was asked what impact the second lockdown will have on house prices. He responded by saying; “It won’t have a significant impact on house prices because the housing market is still open for business. Headline house price growth will continue to rise towards 4% by the end of the year. However, it’s important to remember that there is significant regional variation. Everyone’s homes sit in different housing markets, and what happens to values reflects local supply and demand, as our House Price Index shows.”