Buyer interest in homes across the UK’s biggest cities jumped by more than a quarter at the start of 2020. Demand in the first weeks were up by 26%, in comparison to the same period in both 2018 and 2019. Both 2018 and 2019 experienced slow starts to the year for the market; however, pre-dated the election, analysts are saying there was a pick-up in the property market. With Northern and Midland cities leading the way with the greatest rise in demand. However, London and the South are more subdued.
Cities, such as Sheffield, Leeds and Leicester, with more affordable property prices, saw the biggest jump in buyer interest, with demand up to 20% higher than the average 26% increase. While the divide between Northern and Southern cities remains, with the North seeing stronger price growth than the South, Zoopla said there were signs of a narrowing in recent months.
Midland and Northern cities were some of those to see some of the biggest annual price rises in the country; Nottingham experienced a 5.2% increase, Leicester with a 4.7% and Manchester with a 4.5%.
The average selling price across the UK’s biggest cities rose 3.9% to £257,600 in the year to December; the highest level of annual inflation seen since September 2017. Furthermore, generally all of the UK’s biggest cities, like Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, were above the average rate of demand.
Richard Donnell, of Zoopla, said; the increase in interest was down to a mix of more political certainty and low mortgage rates.
“Whilst the first few weeks of the year always see a return of home buyers to the housing market demand for housing at the start of 2020 is 26% higher than over the last two years,” he commented.
“This is partially due to fading political uncertainty; households who were holding off moving are now starting to return to the market and this momentum has been supported by low mortgage rates.”