Wednesday 25 November 2020 7:01 am

London to buck UK trend with uptick in 2020 housing sales completions

London is expected to buck the national trend to record an uptick in housing sales completions this year, according to the latest research.

Completed sales across the UK are expected to fall six per cent compared to last year, an improvement on the original forecast of a 15 per cent drop, as the housing market has bounced back following the first coronavirus lockdown.

However London is one of just four UK regions to report rising housing sales completions in 2020, with an uptick of six per cent. 

The South East, East and North East are also forecast to register growth this year.

Meanwhile, all London boroughs are registering house price growth, according to Zoopla’s House Price Index, driven by property sales in Waltham Forest and Newham.

Annual house price growth across the capital is currently slightly below the UK average at 2.7 per cent due to affordability levels, which have slightly improved but remain a barrier to rapid growth in sales volumes or prices.

Across the UK, new sales agreed remain 38 per cent higher than a year ago, indicating the busiest market in the run up to Christmas for more than a decade, as buyers attempt to beat March’s stamp duty holiday deadline.

However, only half of deals agreed in January are likely to complete before the cut off date.

House price growth is running at 3.5 per cent, the highest level for more than three years, and 2020 is forecast to end with growth of four per cent, Zoopla said.

Richard Donnell, director of research and insight at Zoopla, said: “It has been a roller coaster year for the housing market which is ending on a strong note with demand and sales agreed still more than 30 per cent higher than this time last year.

“House price growth has hit a three-year high and is set to increase further in the short term.

“The high volume of sales agreed this autumn will spill over as completed sales in 2021 and this will support the overall number of sales completed in 2021 at 1.1 million. 

“It has been a remarkable turnaround and completed sales look set to fall just 6 per cent short of last year despite a two-month closure of the market in England.”