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A UK Shortage of Three- & Four-Bedroom Family Homes Posted: 12th May 2021

Across the UK, buyers have spent the last four months rushing to buy larger family homes to accommodate their new priorities following a year of lockdowns. This has led to a shortage of family homes and the number of 3 and 4 bedroom properties listed at a five-year low. In addition, the value of properties sold across the country doubled in first few months of 2021.

According to Zoopla, ‘extreme market momentum’ has boosted the value of homes sold to £150bn in the first four months of the year. This is double the value in the same period last year.

A key issue for house buyers is stock levels which are at an all-time low. In fact, the total number of homes available to buy was 30 per cent lower at the start of this month than at the same point from 2017 to 2019. Although buyers have rushed to the property market to secure a larger family home, the number of homes listed for sale in the year to date is 19% lower than last year’s average, which is surprising given that the property market was closed for nearly four months over the course of the pandemic.

According to Zoopla, one in every 50 properties was sold between January 1st and April 15th; this is a rise from one in every 100 properties during the same period last year.

With the reintroduction of high LTV mortgages – both through the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme and lenders bringing products independently of the scheme – first time buyers are coming back to the market as they can purchase a home with just a 5% deposit once again. However, it has also exacerbated the supply and demand problem.

The good news is that buyers demand peaked in the week after Easter but demand has since eased off since lockdown restrictions have eased, with households starting to get back to normal and enjoying time with friends and family.

Recent data from Rightmove showed that the average asking price increased by 2.1 per cent in April and figures from the Office for National Statistics showed property prices surged £20,000 to over £250,000 on average over the past year.

House price inflation reached 8.6% in the year to February, marking the highest annual growth rate since 2014, the ONS based these figures on its Land Registry price paid-based index.

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