Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

Record-breaking Year for Rental Supply and Housing Demand

From Robert Ulph on January 1, 2021

I work closely with the main bodies who represent the property industry; ARLA Propertymark for the private rented sector (PRS) and NAEA Propertymark for estate agency and as part of my reflection on the market in 2020 it is interesting to look at the trends they have seen over the year.

A year like no other, but I am pleased to report that the market has remained resilient, despite the closure during the first lockdown, between March and May. The Government did act quickly to ensure a functioning property market and introduced measures to keep the rent flowing within the private rental sector and implemented the Stamp Duty holiday. This resulted in what has been a year of record-breaking levels of house sales and rental accommodation.

Encouragingly, in the PRS we have seen an increase in the number of rental properties in 2020, from 199 on average being managed per branch in 2019, to 203 this year. This is highest on record and another record was recorded when it reached an annual high in October when letting agents were managing 213 properties per branch.

In terms of sales, findings by NAEA Propertymark show that over the course of 2020, the number of prospective buyers was the highest it has been over the past decade. An average of 403 house buyers registered per branch, compared to 320 on average throughout 2019. Looking back over the last decade, demand for housing is up by 55%, from 260 per branch in 2010.

The number of properties available to buy hasn’t changed year-on-year, with an average of 39 available per branch consistently since 2018. The month of July saw the highest number of properties available this year, with an average of 43 available to buy per branch. Supply has dropped considerably over the last decade, from 63 on average per branch in 2010.

The number of sales agreed per branch hit a decade high of ten sales on average per month in 2020. Historically this figure has stayed consistent, only moving between seven and nine between 2010 and 2019.
“We are confident this boom will continue through the New Year,” commented Mark Hayward, Propertymark Chief Policy Advisor, “but grow increasingly concerned about the impact of the property tax cliff edge on 31 March 2021. It could cause thousands of sales to fall through at the final hurdle as buyers realise their sale will not be completed ahead of the deadline.”

With that in mind Propertymark is calling for an extension to the property tax holiday to avoid transactions falling through, price falls, and a sudden loss of momentum in the market. An extension would continue to keep the market moving, supporting jobs and the wider economy.

If you would like any further discussion on this or anything else on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me. I wish you all the very best for a happy, healthy and safe Christmas.