Mortgage approvals for homebuyers hit a 13 year high in November, Bank of England figures show. About 105,000 home loans got the go ahead, up from 98,000 in October and marking the highest number since August 2007.
The surge in approvals meant that by November they were nearly at levels recorded in 2019, despite the housing market effectively being shut in March during lockdown.
Homebuyers have been motivated by the stamp duty holiday which ends on March 31st, as well as the desire to move locations.
Mark Harris, boss of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: "We expect mortgage rates to remain competitive into the spring."
The Bank said consumer credit contracted by 6.7 percent annually in November, a new low since records began 1994. Consumer credit includes credit card debt, personal loans and overdrafts.
Household deposits rose by £17.6 billion from National Savings and Investments accounts after rates were reduced.
So here we are, the start of a new year. It may not have started off in the way we all would have liked but we have to hope for better days to come.
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Everyone at Fox Estates wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.
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Enjoy the festive season the best way you can and please everyone, stay safe.
HOME BUYERS STORM THE MARKET INTHE HOPE OF MEETING STAMP DUTY DEADLINE.
The number of prospective buyers increased by 29 per cent from October and reached the highest recorded since August 2004.
The number of properties available increased marginally.
Sales to first-time buyers increased to the highest amount seen since July.
DEMAND FOR HOUSING
In November, the average number of prospective buyers registered per estate agent branch reached 580, a 29 per cent increase from 451 in October.
This is the highest number of prospective buyers registered since August 2004, when there were 582 buyers on estate agents' books and the highest number since records began for the month of November.
The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch stood at 13 in November, a small increase from 12 in October. This is the highest figure recorded in the month of November since 2002, when the number also stood at 13.
Year on year, the average number of sales per branch has increased by 86 per cent, rising from seven in November2018 and 2019.
SALES TO FIRST TIME BUYERS
The number of sales made to first time buyers stood at 24 per cent in November, rising from 21 per cent in October.
Year on year, this is a fall of four percentage points from 28 per cent in November 2019.
SUPPLY OF AVAILABLE PROPERTIES
The number of properties available per member branch stood at 40 in November, rising marginally from 39 in October.
WHAT PROPERTIES SOLD FOR
In November, 10 per cent of properties sold for more than the original asking price.
This is an increase from October, when seven per cent of properties sold for more than the original asking price.
The majority (58 per cent) of properties sold for less than the original asking price in November.
Perhaps it's because Homes Under the Hammer has become our guilty pleasure in lockdown, or that more of us are hoping to make a quick buck in hard times. Whatever the reason, the proportion of homes being flipped - sold twice within a year - is at its highest level for twelve years.
Flipping a home is a relatively speedy way to earn cash, perhaps by making improvements to a fixer upper, like the ones often featured on the BBC daytime show and putting it back on the market.
And the earnings aren't to be sniffed at. Hamptons International said that the average profit is £40,995. The estate agency said that so far this year2.5 per cent of homes sold in England and Wales have been flipped, which could equate to 23,000 transactions by the end of 2020.
It is the highest proportion of transactions being flipped since 2008 - the year of the financial crisis - when 3.3 per cent of properties were flipped. Burnley in Lancashire was named the flipping capital of England and Wales for the sixth year running. Hamptons estimated that nearly one in ten homes sold there are flipped.
The North East and North West see high proportions of homes flipped because of lower house prices, Hamptons added. Aneisha Beverage, the estate agency's head of research, said: 'Flippers play an important role in the housing market by improving housing stock and taking on projects other buyers often won't touch.'