What’s going on in the UK property market

Posted:
12:00 am December 21, 2021



The UK property market has seen lower sales, but prices continue to rise. Meanwhile, Britain’s nicest place to live has been named in a survey, and a mortgage lender has launched an amazing new fixed-term product.

These are just a few of the headlines from this month’s November UK property market update. Read on to find out more.

Figures released by HMRC showed a significant 52% drop in property transactions across the UK for October, after the government’s stamp duty holiday ended.

Just under 77,000 transactions were completed, with buyers rushing to complete their purchases by September 30. That made it the slowest October since 2012 and reported a 28% drop in transactions compared to the same month last year.

Very rarely, a lender recently launched a fixed rate mortgage for up to 40 years.

Specialty lender Kensington Mortgages has taken a very unusual move in seeking to capitalize on the growing uncertainty among buyers and homeowners who anticipate rising interest rates.

While some lenders already offer a 10-year fixed-term mortgage, Kensington’s new contract will allow borrowers to sign up for terms of 11 to 40 years.

The interest rate will vary depending on the size of your deposit and the length of the mortgage term, but for those fixing between 36 and 40 years, the rate currently starts at 3.34%.

The increased demand for rental properties in major cities across the UK has driven the cost of rent to its highest level in 13 years.

Some cities have seen demand double in their core areas, pushing potential tenants out of the city and driving up prices.

According to Zoopla, the leading property portal, average rents in the UK have risen 6% in the past 12 months, with the South West recording a 9% increase as demand for properties continues to outstrip supply.

It’s a similar picture across the UK, with only London not seeing the same kind of increase, although prices still rose 1.6% in the year through September, but they are 5% lower than they were before the pandemic.

Searches of leading real estate website Rightmove revealed the nation’s top 6 hotspots for sellers.

Grays in Essex and Mangotsfield, Bristol share the top spot, with 84% of the homes listed on the website already sold under contract.

Next closely, Eastleigh in Hampshire and Redditch in Worcestershire both have 83% of properties sold under contract, while Yeovil in Somerset and Hythe in Kent round out the top 6, with 82% of properties sold STC.

Perhaps revealing enough, none of the top 6 are located downtown as an increase in remote working since the pandemic has led employees to have more options as to where they live, and buyers are increasingly looking for their money.

Leading real estate portal Rightmove has released the results of its annual “Happy at Home” index, which reveals Hexham to be the happiest place to live in Britain.

The market town of Northumberland obtained the highest overall score based on factors such as friendliness of neighbors, sense of belonging, quality of local amenities and availability of open space.

This is a return to first place for the Northeast city, which was also number 1 in the 2019 survey.

Richmond upon Thames was the happiest place to live in London for the 7th year in a row. The affluent area in the south-west of the capital, where average house prices are just under £ 1.2million, came second.

Harrogate in Yorkshire completed the top 3, while 2020 winner St Ives in Cornwall came in 8th.

Ridgewater Sales and Lettings are your local real estate experts for the Torbay area. Call us on 01803 525100 or email [email protected] to find out how we can help you buy a new home or sell your property.