According to Zoopla, the home sales pipeline is now 50% bigger than this time last year, with 140,000 more buyers rushing to buy a home before losing out on the Stamp Duty holiday, which is due to end on 31 March 2021.
Elsewhere, Nationwide have reported a total 91,500 mortgages approvals were granted in September, which is well above the August figure of 84,700 approvals and represents the highest level since September 2007.
The stampede to buy homes is being driven by a combination of the government’s Stamp Duty holiday, as well as people reassessing their housing needs following lockdowns. There are concerns that the current high volume of sales going through will create delays in the conveyancing process and this could be exacerbated by lockdowns. Zoopla have estimated that only 54% of sales agreed in January will have completed by the end of March, compared with 92% of those agreed in November.
Tax receipts from Stamp Duty on property sales fell by £1bn over the last tax year, to a total of £11.9bn according to latest figures from HMRC.
However, Capital Gains Tax, which is payable when buy-to-let homes are sold, rose to £9.2bn, up from £7.8bn a year earlier.
The decline in Stamp Duty has been blamed on a decline in buy-to-let purchases and a slowdown in the higher end of the property market, in addition to the majority of first-time buyers having been removed from the tax.
Data from Landbay Rental Index shows the
average rent paid for a property in the UK is now £1,218 per month, up by 0.96%
in the 12 months to April 2019.
Excluding London, the average rent in the rest of the UK was £773 per month, with Scotland recording the highest annual growth at 1.78%; Edinburgh being Scotland’s rental hotspot with an annual increase of 5.44%.
John Goodall, CEO of Landbay said: “Landlords can rest assured that there is decent rental growth to be found across the UK, particularly if they look north of London”.
According to the latest property supply index, there was a surge in owners listing their properties in the days after Brexit was delayed again, with listings up 0.8% in April, month on month.
Analysis by online estate agent, Housesimple, revealed that almost half (49%) of major UK towns and cities saw a rise in new properties coming onto the market in April compared to March.
The overall picture in London showed new listings down by 1.4% in April compared to March, but four in 10 boroughs actually saw supply levels rise, with the biggest rise occurring in Kensington and Chelsea, with listings up by 17.3%.