New figures from property portal Zoopla reveal that 2021 was the busiest year for the housing market in 14 years. One privately owned property in every 16 is expected to have changed hands by 31 December, thanks to a combination of factors including the stamp duty holiday.
The ‘race for space’ indoors and out, prompted by the pandemic, and new government mortgage guarantees, aimed at helping first-time buyers onto the housing ladder, have also had an impact.
According to Zoopla: “2021’s property market will be defined by the pandemic-led re-evaluation of the home, with many households compelled to make a move.”
The annual house price rate has grown by 6.9% – up from 3.5% in the same month last year – according to the property website, though down slightly on the 7% seen during the summer.
Data from UK mortgage lenders also reveals prices defying expectations, with October figures from the Halifax and the Nationwide showing increases. Limited supply of properties set against continued buyer demand, is thought to be a factor in keeping prices high beyond the end of the stamp duty holiday.
Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, gave her predictions for 2022. “New supply will start to rise at the turn of the year as households use the holiday period to make a decision around making a move.
“Buyer demand will remain strong moving into next year, but as the market starts to normalise in 2022, there may be an increase in the proportion of activity among movers, who are active in the market as sellers as well as buyers. This should ease the constraint in supply to some extent.”