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UK homebuyers still in full force, but London still off pace – study

The market hasn’t paused for breath since the Christmas break, with homebuyer demand rising 6% since the final quarter of 2020, recent figures from GetAgent has revealed.

Its latest Homebuyer Demand Hotspots Index looked at homebuyer demand levels in each major UK city. 

We list the key findings below.


Biggest increases

The biggest uplift in buyer interest has been in Bournemouth, where demand has climbed by 20% in the first quarter alone.

Oxford has also seen one of the largest increases at 11%, as has Newcastle (8%), Swansea, Cambridge, Plymouth, and Leeds (7%).

Highest current demand

In terms of the highest levels of homebuyer activity, Bristol ranks top with 76% of all homes listed already under offer or sold subject to contact.

Glasgow (74%), Sheffield (73%), Leeds and Plymouth (71%) are also particularly hot in the current market.

London the slowest in the race

With the ongoing uncertainty caused by Covid, London homebuyers remain more cautious. Overall, buyer demand in the capital sits at just 46%, having crept up 3% Q4 2020.

GetAgent reveals that just two boroughs, Newham and Brent, have seen demand remain static, while every other London borough has at least enjoyed some positive movement in homebuyer activity.

Bexley has seen the largest quarterly uplift at 14% and is home to the largest level of current buyer demand (74%). Havering, Hounslow, Hillingdon and the City of London have seen the next largest uplift since Q4 of last year at 5%.

However, along with Westminster (15%) and Kensington and Chelsea (19%), the City of London ranks as one of the coldest spots in the capital for current homebuyer demand with just 27% of all homes listed selling in current market conditions.

“There’s been no let-up for a UK property market fuelled by the stamp duty holiday with a further increase in homebuyer demand during the first quarter of this year,” says Colby Short, founder and chief executive officer of GetAgent.

“The approaching deadline no doubt dampened this demand to a degree and with an extension now in place, we expect to see further increases over the next two quarters of this year at the very least.”

“Covid has caused the large degree of regional variation found within the UK property market to come even more pronounced for a whole host of reasons.”

Short says despite Bournemouth being a cold spot for demand, demand is starting to lift at the quickest rate of all UK cities. London is also yet to bounce back, although demand is building across almost every borough.

“It will be interesting to see just how long it takes for normality to fully return now that an exit plan is in place,” he concludes.


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