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Demand from potential house buyers spiked 88 per cent after lockdown restrictions on England’s property market eased earlier this month, according to the latest research.

However, the pent-up demand varied between cities, according to the latest research by Zoopla, and the rebound in London has been less pronounced than other English cities.

The research found that some potential buyers could be looking to move to commuter towns outside of the capital after working from home during the coronavirus lockdown. It also said affordability of housing could have slowed down the bounce back in London.

Demand has bounced back strongly in northern England and cities along the south coast since the government gave the go-ahead for the housing market to reopen.

The surge in demand is expected to be temporary and slow in the coming weeks.

The Zoopla Cities Index found that 60 per cent of potential homemovers across Britain were planning to go ahead with their plans, however 40 per cent had put potential moves on hold due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, new sales agreed in England increased 12 per cent since the market reopened two weeks ago.

Zoopla director of research and insight Richard Donnell said: “The scale of 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.

“The Covid crisis and 50 day lockdown have created an unexpected one-off boost to housing demand. Millions of UK households have spent a considerable amount of time in their homes over the lockdown period and missed out on hours of committing. Many households are likely to have re-evaluated what they want from their home.

“This could well explain the scale of the demand returning to the market.”

However, he added that uncertainty will build as the economic impact of the pandemic becomes clearer over the coming months.

“The majority of would-be movers plan to continue their search, encouraged by low mortgage rates and continued Government support for the economy,” Donnell added.

“However, we expect the latest rebound in demand to moderate in the coming weeks as buyers and sellers start to exert greater caution. Further support from the Government can’t be discounted and would help limit the scale of the downside risks.”

By Jessica Clark

Source: City AM

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