British #2 portal Zoopla has released data around the returning demand seen on their site over the last two weeks. The headline figures are that demand for new listings jumped 88% in the week following the reopening of the English property market on May 13th (markets in the rest of the UK remain closed) and that demand is currently 20% higher than at the start of March. Sales also saw a 12% jump in the week following the unshackling of the English market.
As expected, there are some notable regional disparities in the demand data. Some regional cities in England such as Southampton (46%) and Newcastle (36%) saw big increases in demand, whereas London and Birmingham saw falling demand. Perhaps a sign that big city dwellers are looking to move out to cheaper locations. Given the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 crisis and the massive impact it has had on the world economy, the fact that demand seems to have returned to pre-crisis levels is something that has surprised many, including Zoopla research director, Richard Donnell:
“The scale of the rebound in demand for housing is welcome news for estate agents and developers, but it is also surprising given projections for a sharp rise in unemployment and a major decline in economic growth.”
Donnell went on to caution against any undue thoughts that the housing market in the UK was going to completely recover any time soon, saying:
“we expect the latest rebound in demand to moderate in the coming weeks as buyers and sellers start to exert greater caution.”