Residential property prices look set to hold firm for the remainder of the year - despite the onset of recession and rising unemployment, according to the latest findings in the monthly House Price Index by Zoopla.
The property portal has also analysed the speed of sale across the country and found that properties are currently selling almost two weeks faster now in comparison to the corresponding period last year.
In the 90 days to mid-August, a three-bedroom home has typically sold in 24 days, Zoopla said.
This is 12 days quicker than the same period a year ago. All types of property have been selling faster, its research suggested.
Richard Donnell, research and insight director, Zoopla, said: “Housing market conditions remain unseasonably strong despite the UK moving into recession. Demand continues to outpace supply and support house price growth of 2.5% per annum. Meanwhile, houses are selling faster than flats as we see a shift in buyer priorities in the wake of the lockdown and movers prioritise more space.
“While the economy has contracted sharply and unemployment is rising, consumer spending has rebounded and purchasing manager indices are pointing to a wider rebound in the economy.
“This is positive but the unwinding of the furlough scheme and other Government support is the next challenge that will test the strength of economic recovery. In the short-term we still believe that house prices will end the year 2% to 3% higher than at the start.”
Demand had also been given a boost as a result of the temporary stamp duty holiday.
But it would appear that many buyers are reconsidering what they want from a home, with greater demand for larger homes.
Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, commented: “The surge of activity in the market is exceptional. Since the housing market reopened, our Members have been busier than ever with some saying they have never been as busy as they are now. In July 2019 there were around 25,000 SSTC a week across the industry. This year there are over 35,000 SSTC [Sold Subject to Contract] a week with the figure showing no signs of easing up.”
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