Housing Report, November 2020

Home buyers storm the market in hope of meeting Stamp Duty deadline

Key Findings:

  • The number of prospective buyers increased by 29 per cent from October and reached the highest recorded since August 2004
  • The number of properties available increased marginally 
  • Sales to first-time buyers (FTBs) increased to the highest amount seen since July

Demand for housing

  • In November, the average number of prospective buyers registered per estate agent branch reached 580, a 29 per cent increase from 451 in October.
  • This is the highest number recorded since August 2004, when there were 582 buyers on estate agents’ books and the highest number since records began for the month of November.

Sales agreed

  • The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch stood at 13 in November, a small increase from 12 in October. This is the highest figure recorded for the month of November since 2002, when the number also stood at 13.
  • Year-on-year, the average number of sales agreed per branch has increased by 86 per cent, rising from seven in November 2018 and 2019.

Sales to FTBs

  • The number of sales made to FTBs stood at 24 per cent in November, rising from 21 per cent in October.
  • Year on year, this is a fall of four percentage points from 28 per cent in November 2019.

Supply of available properties

  • The number of properties available per member branch stood at 40 in November, rising marginally from 39 in October.

What properties sold for

  • In November, 10 per cent of properties sold for more than the original asking price.
  • This is an increase from October, when seven per cent of properties sold for more than the original asking price.
  • The majority (58 per cent) of properties sold for less than the original asking price in November.

Quote mark

The pressure of completing a house purchase ahead of the stamp duty, LTT and LBTT holiday deadlines means we have seen an extremely high number of potential buyers flood the market in November, in the hope of finding their dream home.

We remain very concerned about the impact of the stamp duty, LTT and LBTT cliff edges on the 31st March, with nearly three in five (56 per cent) estate agents expecting to see an increase in failed sales next year due to buyers realising their sale will not complete ahead of the deadline.

mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
Chief Policy Advisor 
Propertymark