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Uplift in demand

Housing market enjoys busiest month in 10 years

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Demand boosted by tax breaks

The UK housing market enjoyed its busiest month in over 10 years, according to listings site Rightmove, with property tax breaks and a rush to the countryside helping to drive demand.

The number of sales agreed during July surged to the highest level since its monthly tracker began a decade ago. The number of sales was 20% over the previous high.

Rightmove, which says it is used by 90% of British estate agents, said the number of new properties coming to the market was the highest since March 2008 as home buyers completed on sales delayed during the lockdown.

The most recent figures from the Bank of England – which cover June, before July’s announcement of a tax break on moving home – showed a sharp rebound in demand for mortgages, but fewer loans were approved than before the pandemic.

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Average asking prices for August – based on data collected from 12 July 12 to 8 August – were 4.6% higher than a year earlier as the normal summer softening in demand failed to materialise.

Prices were up across Britain other than London’s commuter belt.

“The out-of-city exodus has helped push prices to record levels in Devon and Cornwall, for example,” Rightmove director Martin Shipside said.

Earlier this month, ESPC agents reported exceptionally high levels of property market activity in July.

The Scottish property marketing company said that the lockdown restrictions which were eased on 29 June resulted in pent-up demand for property. Consequently, there has been lots of homes coming to market and competition is high, with properties reportedly selling well.

Paul Hilton, CEO of ESPC, said: “Our agents have reported being exceptionally busy throughout July 2020, with significant demand to buy and sell property across all ESPC areas.

“We have also noted significant year-on-year increases in viewing and valuation requests, homes coming to market and the number of homes being placed under offer.”



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