Moving to the countryside for larger homes with more outdoor space has been a key driver for many making the move after successive lockdowns in cities, which has, in turn, resulted in sky-high property prices across almost all of the UK. House prices are now a staggering 13 percent higher now than they were at the start of the coronavirus crisis – but while high property prices are a sellers dream, buyers certainly do not feel the same way.
While the Stamp Duty holiday spurred a revival in homebuyer demand following the first lockdown in 2020, the after-effects of the tax scrap are likely to be felt for a while to come, as buyers are not looking for somewhere new to live and changing their renting situation, but for a place to permanently call their own.
As well as the desire for the countryside and large family homes, bolstered savings created over lockdown and cheap mortgage rates were responsible for driving prices up.
A new forecast by estate agent Hamptons predicts values will rise by up to 3.5 percent a year between 2022 and 2024.
Hamptons also predicted more homes will be sold in 2021 than in any year since 2007, after a record surge in activity this year.
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Hamptons have said the summer of 2021 marked what they believe is the peak of housing price growth, and average prices will be 4.5 percent higher at the end of this year than they were at the end of 2020.
But, as with most things, the market characteristically rises and falls, and experts are divided on what will happen next for the UK property market.
David Carter, founder of House Partnership, believes the market cool off may continue for the coming months before picking up again.
He told Express.co.uk: “The property market is like an oil tanker – slow to cool down and slow to get going again.
Maureen Bennett, director at Bennett Removals, predicts the current peak will not be the end for booming property prices – although things may certainly slow down as we move into next year.
She told Express.co.uk: ”With some regions of the UK seeing house prices inflate by nearly 30 percent, it is incredibly unlikely that this rate of growth will continue.
“So in that sense, the property market is likely at its peak in terms of a shocking period of rapid inflation.
“However, this does not mean house prices will necessarily fall.”
Ms Bennett also predicts prices will continue to rise in the UK – but not in the way we’ve been exposed to over the course of the pandemic.
She continued: “In fact, it’s likely that they will continue to rise, but just not at such a chaotic rate – and an interesting factor playing a part in this is the WFH movement.
“It looks like remote working isn’t going to stop anytime soon, meaning every single house on the market has found a whole new pool of potential buyers that don’t have any ‘office commute criteria’.
“Amongst other factors, this increase in home buyers that have less concern for geography has meant that property prices are higher than ever because people are willing to pay more for their dream home when they can be flexible with their location, and that isn’t looking like it will change anytime soon.”