The UK is still in the middle on an unprecedented house sale boom, with an astonishing 650,000-odd property transactions currently in the pipeline. It will be several months more before this extraordinary demand for houses begins subsiding, and there's no doubt that the period leading up to Christmas 2020 will be record-breaking in terms of how many people rush to close property purchases.
However, this doesn't mean that everywhere in the UK has experienced the property boom equally. Recent research by Mojo Mortgages (opens in new tab) reveals the areas that have been the busiest during the housing boom with the largest numbers of house sales. The top ten list throws a new light on what by now has become the mantra of the housing market in 2020 – that everyone wants a house with a garden in the country.
The truth is, as it usually is, somewhat more complicated. The busiest area by far in the past month is actually Brighton and Hove in southern England. The BN3 area in Hove has had 63 sales, and BN2 in Brighton – 56 sales. Brighton and Hove is hardly a rural area, and while some homes come with gardens, it's not that different from other urban areas such as London. The appeal of this part of the country must be the combination of the proximity to the sea and the urban amenities on a par with the capital.
Actually, most of areas with the largest number of house sales right now are in cities, not the countryside: Croydon, Nottingham, and Bristol are all densely populated, urban areas that are perhaps more relaxed than London or Manchester, but again, light years away from rural life.
The outlier, perhaps, is Christchurch, in Dorset: the BH23 postcode in this idyllic Dorset town with a population of under 50,000 has had 60 house sales in the past month, putting it second only to Hove. Not is this a cheap area, with average house prices of nearly £400,000. No doubt, the quieter pace of life and the stunning golden beaches are attracting Londoners who have taken the plunge and are relocating.
If you're a buyer and are still hoping to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, we'd strongly advise to avoid these areas, unless your heart is really set on one of them. It's highly doubtful that all the house sale transactions in these hot spots will be processed in time for the end-of-March deadline.
If you're a seller, on the other hand, take heart: it really isn't all about massive houses in idyllic rural locations. If you have a nice property in a popular area, even if it's a flat, you should have no trouble selling.
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