Zoopla forecasts 1.5 million property sales in 2021 – best year since 2007

Property platform Zoopla expects sales transactions to hit 1.5 millon by the end of the year – up 45% on 2020 – almost taking the market back to its 2007 peak of 1.6 million.

The value of sales in 2021 is forecast to total £461bn, up 68% from 2019 amid a rise in higher-value homes exchanging.

However, the total number of homes available to buy is down 20.8% in the year to mid-May, when compared to the average last year.

Zoopla also found that average house prices rose at 4.1% in the year to April, up from 2.3% in April last year, but down from 4.7% at the start of the year.

On a city level, Liverpool (+6.9%) and Manchester (+6.8%) are registering the highest price growth of major cities, the fifth consecutive month this has been the case.

Sundeep Patel, director of sales at specialist lender Together, said: “Demand for homeownership across all customer bases shows no signs of abating, with buyers jostling to make the most of the stamp duty extension ahead of it tapering off on the 1 July. Indeed, the total value of homes sold in the UK this year is predicted to reach £461bn, an increase of 46% on 2020.

“That said, while record low interest rates and government incentives have clearly boosted activity, there are severe supply and demand issues to be cautious of in the long-term.

“Indeed, while it’s difficult to forecast what the property market will look like as we recover from the pandemic, we’re confident flexibility will be a top priority for hopeful borrowers and their needs in the future, given the financial considerations caused by the pandemic.”

Nigel Purves, CEO of Wayhome added: “We’re continuing to see a strong demand for homeownership, with annual house price growth 4.1% higher than last year, as the ‘race for space’ continues to pick up ahead of the Summer.

“However, with demand from buyers continuing to heavily outweigh supply there are clear imbalances to be aware of.

“Those who’ve managed to accrue savings over the last year are likely to be taking advantage of the record low interest rates and government initiatives to secure homes that truly meet their changing needs after a year in lockdown.

“But others aren’t so lucky; many are stuck in rental properties which aren’t fit for purpose, and homeownership is out of their reach despite earning good incomes.

“We need to see real change and fast. Creating options that will ensure those who find themselves trapped in a renting cycle have an alternative route onto the property ladder is key. For this to become a reality, innovation is needed to create new pathways into homeownership.”

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