Buyers continue to head to the quintessential English countryside

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments on the latest ONS/Land Registry House Price Index:
 

This year has been full of surprises. The housing market’s closure sent the property industry straight into the doldrums and any prospect of market growth looked bleak. Fast forward seven-months and we are experiencing price growth at its highest level for four years. This is an excellent indicator of how Government incentives can support the market in the face of extreme adversity.

More remote country hotspots are continuing to outperform cities, with Worcester, North East Derbyshire, Merton and South Oxfordshire seeing the highest price growth on a local scale. This chimes with what our branches are reporting on the ground, as buyers continue to head to the quintessential English countryside in search of a better life post-pandemic. This has impacted what buyers are looking for from their property searches, with 50% now referencing proximity to a local village pub as desirable1.

However, it’s also very promising to see growth in prime London too, as house prices in Kensington and Chelsea climbed 11% on the year in October. International investment ahead of the foreign buyer tax coming into effect next year could well be driving this.

Typically we see activity slowdown in the run-up to Christmas, but this year is different. With increased time spent at home, people have been able to think about how they want to change their living situation to suit their evolving lifestyle needs in the New Year. This, coupled with the incentive to buy before the stamp duty holiday ends in March, is creating some of the busiest weeks ahead of Christmas on record.”
 
UK House Price Index: October 2020
 

  • UK average house prices increased by 5.4% over the year to October 2020, up from 4.3% in September 2020, to stand at a record high of £245,000; this is the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since October 2016
  • The East Midlands, North West and Yorkshire and The Humber experienced the joint highest annual growth in average house prices (6.6%)

 
1 A targeted social media poll ran between 6th and 9th November, which asked respondents to confirm which features they consider to be the most important feature within a village – asking them to vote for either the village pub, village green, local church/community hall or village shop. The poll received over 10,000 votes, with the pub coming up top with 50% of the votes.