Thursday, August 11, 2022

U.K. prime residential market sees remarkable recovery

residential market

The English real estate industry reopened in May after eight weeks under lockdown measures

The U.K.’s prime residential market has seen a “remarkable recovery” since the English real estate industry reopened in May after eight weeks under lockdown measures, according to a Savills report released Wednesday.

After plummeting 72% in April, activity levels have now returned at a stronger rate than last year. In the week ending Sunday, the number of agreed sales priced above £1 million were 48% higher than the weekly average for June 2019, the estate agency said.

Despite the surge, prices remain sensitive due to the uncertain economic environment.

“Market activity has been buoyed by pent-up demand, in part at least, but we have been surprised at the extent to which lockdown has made people reassess their housing needs and, more pertinently, act upon it,” Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research, said in the report.

This said, buyers appear to be keeping their feet on the ground when it comes to what they will pay, meaning sellers must retain realistic price expectations if this momentum is to be sustained, he added.

Average values across London’s prime markets dipped 1.1% in the second quarter of the year, but they remained flat across the rest of the U.K.’s prime areas, as country living became more attractive for buyers.

“The experience of working from home has made people aware of the limitations of their existing homes, and increased inside and outside space has become an all-important driver of demand,” Cook said.

In the prime London market, 97% of Savills agents reported increased demand for homes with a garden or outdoor space, according to the report. Outside of the capital, 83% of agents reported increasing popularity for village homes, and 90% witnessed increased demand for country locations.


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