Property expert claims housing market boom will continue in ‘same direction as travel’

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The first OnTheMarket Property Sentiment Index was released today, sharing an insight into buyer and seller confidence. The new data, which was captured via survey questions on their website, also looked at attitudes towards mortgage borrowing, most popular property types and time to sell metrics. The British property search portal believes this to be the largest monthly consumer sentiment index to date in terms of buying and selling residential property in the UK.

The data found that 75.5 percent of active UK buyers were confident that they would purchase a property within the next three months.

Furthermore, 84 percent of active UK sellers who took the survey were confident that they would sell their property within the next three months.

The property sentiment index also found that a staggering 28.5 percent of properties were Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being advertised for sale, compared with just eight percent in June 2020.

The fastest selling region last month was Scotland with 33 percent of homes SSTC within 30 days of first being listed for sale.

Meanwhile, Greater London had the lowest number of homes that were SSTC within 30 days with just 20 percent.

The data also looked at the most popular property types in June 2021.

The site analysed thousands of estate agents listings across the UK and managed to track the most sought-after property types based on homes that were sold SSTC.

The most popular property type in the UK in June 2021 were three bedroom semi-detached houses.

The average asking price for semi-detached property in June 2021 was £334,395.

However, in Greater London, the most popular property type were two bedroom apartments, with flats coming to the market for an average £817,559 in June 2021.

Chief Executive Officer of OnTheMarket Jason Tebb said he thought the property market would “continue in the same directions as travel over the summer”, as buyer appetite continues to thrive.

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Mr Tebb said the reason the survey looked at consumer confidence is because “sentiment fuels markets” and that data only “provides half the picture”.

Prior to his role at OnTheMarket, Mr Tebb worked as an estate agent who was involved in thousands of property transactions.

During his time as an estate agent, he would often ask prospective buyers how they “feel” about a property rather than what they “think”.

He explained: “That distinct difference between the empirical and the emotional is at the core of what we aim to provide as we launch this monthly index.

“In terms of the UK residential property market over the last month, the overwhelming feedback from our thousands of agents up and down the country suggests that the momentum seen over the past year continued in June, with new buyers starting their search regardless of the fact that they were fully aware that they wouldn’t beat the stamp duty holiday deadline.”

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OnTheMarket received a surge in traffic in June 2021 as buyers rushed to purchase a home.

The website recorded the second highest total ever recorded since the site launched in 2015.

Mr Tebb added: “This is also reflected in the positive nature of the responses to our sentiment survey, as looking at our key indicators, 75.5 percent of active buyers in June were confident that they would purchase a property within the next three months.

“Of sellers who responded over the same period, 84 percent were confident that they would sell their property within the next three months.

“Market momentum is also demonstrated clearly by the fact that in June, 28.5 percent of properties advertised on the OnTheMarket website were sold subject to contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first listing, compared to just eight percent in the same period in June 2020.”

The property expert said the site believes the recent property market surge is down to a “perfect storm” which stemmed from the lead up to the 2019 General Election and Brexit in early 2020.

He explained further that the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t allow the property market to “unwind” like it would have done in a “normally functioning market”.

Mr Tebb added: “This dynamic, together with the ‘race for space’ that we’ve observed as a direct result of successive lockdowns together with the market stimulus from the stamp duty holiday and record low mortgage rates, means that while the window for any major savings closed at the end of the month, buyer appetite hasn’t as yet dissipated, with all signs pointing to the fact that the market will continue in the same direction of travel over the summer.”

Mark Proctor, southwest regional partner at Knight Frank said there was a “huge amount” of activity across the region in June.

Mr Proctor said this was particularly for homes priced up to £1million as this is where buyers could make the most stamp duty savings.

He said: “Despite the fact that buyers registering over the last month have known that they wouldn’t benefit from the main savings available as they wouldn’t complete in time to meet the deadline, we’ve still had a significant volume of new applicants.

“This, together with the very limited amount of supply, has meant that many of our properties have gone to ‘best and final’ bids.

“What’s been particularly interesting is seeing a few properties that were listed last year but didn’t sell at the time that have now been successfully re-marketed and sold in excess of asking price.”

The stamp duty holiday, which was put in place last July, is also thought to have helped motivate property buyers in the UK.

The stamp duty holiday threshold of £500,000 came to an end on June 30.

From July 1, the threshold was reduced to £250,000 until September 30.

On October 1, it will return to the previous level of £125,000.

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