The UK property market has been one of the few success stories during 2020 in what was an otherwise difficult year for the country.
According to figures released by the Nationwide Building Society house prices in the UK rose by 7.5% in 2020, the highest rate of growth since 2015, and ended the year 5.3% above the level prior to the start of the pandemic in March.
Nationwide also reported that house prices were 0.8% higher in December than November making the value of an average property a fraction under £231,000.
Ben Furnell, Managing Director of Bardsey based Furnell Residential, said: “There is no question that the residential property market has remained exceptionally buoyant since the pandemic took hold in early spring. 2020 was certainly our busiest ever year in terms of new instructions and the number of completed sales. We also achieved excellent prices for our customers.”
He added: “Government led schemes such as furlough and Self-Employment Income Support really helped as did the stamp duty holiday which acted as a real incentive for people to accelerate their plans to move.”
Looking ahead to 2021 Ben Furnell commented: “The new vaccine is obviously fantastic news and assuming the roll out happens quickly and efficiently it should herald a shift to some level of normality sooner rather than later.
“However the long term effects on the economy are still to be fully calculated and there are likely to be further redundancies and business closures which will certainly dent consumer confidence. The stamp duty holiday expires at the end of March and only time will tell if the Government has any other support schemes or financial incentives up its sleeve.
“On a positive note for the property industry, 2021 is likely to see even more people working from home which will mean a re-evaluation of current living arrangements and with the cost of borrowing extremely low, and likely to remain so, it is far better to own than rent. All things considered I do think there is some justification for cautious optimism, certainly in the early part of the new year.”