Rightmove today published its August house price index and it makes for quite incredible reading.
Why incredible? Because since the beginning of the Covid pandemic we have been hearing from many economic pundits that house prices are ‘bound to fall’. In fact, not just fall but ‘crash’.
The Bank of England, Capital Economics, Zoopla, the RICS, JLL, Knight Frank…. they’ve all prophecised doom and gloom based upon a, some would say, lazy assumption that the housing market would cave due to the wider crisis.
But as we told City AM and Alistair Stewart on TalkRADIO this morning:
“This latest set of numbers from the especially authoritative Rightmove must surely correct even the most morose of property market bears, for now at least.
This explosion of activity is not just a consequence of the fuel of stamp-duty-respite but a market that has proven time and again that it is robust even in the most challenging of circumstances. You can apparently throw Brexit, political turmoil, a couple of general elections and a once in a century pandemic at it yet it still marches on. Like the proverbial cockroach, no matter what you do to kill it, it simply will not die”.
The highlights of the Rightmove publication today are:
House sales in August at a 10 year high – up 20% on the previous record
Property listings at a ten year high – supply is meeting demand
Prices are flat month on month but only because the London market has diluted the growth of other regions, all of which are up – some by as much as 6% year on year in asking price terms now. Overall, asking prices are up 4.6% across the UK vs this time last year.
Undoubtedly, pent up demand is the reason for this spurt as is the fuel-on-the-fire of Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday – a buyer saving of up to £15,000. The question of course is what happens on April 1st 2021 when the stamp duty holiday ends?
Our advice…. buy/sell now to ride the wave and to ensure that your transaction completes BEFORE March 31st 2021.