Demand for homes in UK regions grows further

Demand for homes in cities and major towns across the UK picked up again the first quarter of 2021, according to the latest index from an estate agent comparison site.

The new 'Homebuyer Demand Hotspots Index', which is based on the number of properties sold subject to contract or under offer, showed a six per cent rise in Q1 of this year compared to final quarter of last year.Bournemouth - where buyer interest was flat last year - recorded the biggest uplift in demand with a 20 per cent rise, while Oxford, Newcastle, Swansea, Cambridge, Plymouth and Leeds also showed significant increases.In terms of homebuyer activity, Bristol ranked top with 76 per cent of all homes on the market listed as under offer or sold subject to contact, closely followed by Glasgow, Sheffield, Leeds and Plymouth.Colby Short, CEO of, said: “There’s been no let-up for a UK property market fuelled by the stamp duty holiday with a further increase in homebuyer demand during the first quarter of this year."The approaching deadline no doubt dampened this demand to a degree and with an extension now in place, we expect to see further increases over the next two quarters of this year at the very least."Covid has caused the large degree of regional variation found within the UK property market to come even more pronounced for a whole host of reasons."Demand in London, meanwhile, remained flat, recording only a small increase from the final quarter of 2020 although a few specific areas, such as Bexley, Havering, Hounslow and Hillingdon have bucked the trend and shown five per cent-plus rises since last year.In the capital's most expensive areas, sold or under offer signs only went up outside 15 per cent of properties in Westminster, 19 per cent in Kensington and Chelsea, and 27 per cent in the City of London."London is yet to bounce back to its former glory, although the good news is that demand is building across almost every borough," said Mr Short."It will be interesting to see just how long it takes for normality to fully return now that an exit plan is in place.”The latest house price index from Nationwide, published last week, showed that London had been the UK’s worst-performing region in the first quarter of the year with annual price growth falling to 4.8 per cent, down from 6.2 per cent in Q4 of 2020.By contrast, NW England came in as the strongest-performing region, with prices up 8.2 per cent year-on-year - the highest rate of price growth in the area since 2005. North England also recorded a pick-up in price growth of 7.2 per cent.

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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