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14 May 2021

The UK Government set out in the Queen’s speech on 11 May, its legislative plans for adult education and training for the next parliamentary session with a proposed Skills and Post-16 Education Bill. Read More...

Commonhold Council launched

14 May 2021

An advisory panel of leasehold and industry groups has been launched to inform the UK Government on the future of commonhold homeownership. Read More...

Leasehold Reform Bill published

13 May 2021

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill has been published today, 13 May, and when implemented aims to help tackle inconsistency and ambiguity of ground rents for future leaseholders. Read More...

Changes to notice periods for evictions

12 May 2021

The UK Government has announced that from 1 June 2021 notice periods in England that are currently six months, will now be reduced to four months. Read More...

Virtual Right to Rent checks extended

12 May 2021

The Home Office has today, 12 May, extended the period in which letting agents in England can carry out Right to Rent checks by video call by a further month to 20 June 2021. Read More...

Record high for housing demand and supply of rental stock

Thursday 10 December 2020

As we near the end of 2020, Propertymark has analysed its sales and lettings data to reveal trends from the year, which has been an unprecedented one due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both the sales and rental markets have remained resilient, despite market closure between March and May. The prioritisation by the Government of a functioning property market and subsequent implementation of the Stamp Duty, Land Transaction Tax, and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax holidays, as well as measures taken to keep the rent flowing within the private rental sector, have allowed for record-breaking levels of house sales and rental accommodation.

Housing demand

Over the course of 2020, the number of prospective buyers was the highest it has been over the past decade with an average of 403 house buyers registered per branch, compared to 320 on average throughout 2019 and the previous decade high of 379 in 2015. Looking back over the last decade, demand for housing is up by 55 per cent, 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 throughout the year hit a decade high of 10 sales on average per month in 2020. Historically this figure has stayed consistent, only moving between seven and nine between 2010 and 2019.

The average proportion of total sales made to first-time buyers (FTBs) decreased by two percentage points in 2020, from 27 per cent in 2019 to 25 per cent. This figure is consistent with both 2018’s average figure of 25 per cent and the past decade’s average of 25 per cent of total sales being made to FTBs.

Private rented sector

The supply of rental accommodation in 2020 was the highest on record, with 203 properties managed on average per branch throughout the year, compared to 2019’s figure of 199. October saw another highest figure on record with 213 properties managed per branch reported.  

As landlords continued to feel the pinch, the number of buy-to-let (BTL) investors selling their properties remained high, at an average of four per month in 2020. In both February and September, the figure spiked to five per branch.

The number of tenants experiencing rent hikes has fallen this year to 36 per cent, from an average of 44 per cent in 2019. This is due to COVID-19 rent struggles preventing further tenant fees ban related rent increases.

Quote mark

We are confident this boom will continue through the New Year but grow increasingly concerned about the impact of the property tax cliff edge on 31 March 2021. It has already increased pressure on service providers within the industry, causing delays for buyers and sellers, and 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.

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
Propertymark Chief Policy Advisor

Property Sector Support Package

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.

  • Homeownership provides an increased sense of stability and security to people’s lives and the local communities in which they live.
  • Since the introduction of the cut to Stamp Duty/Land Transaction Tax/Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, the housing market has excelled

Extending the cut to property taxes would continue to support jobs in the sector and the wider economy and #keepthemarketmoving.

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