Housing market sees record Boxing Day bounce

Housing market sees record Boxing Day bounce

By Property News Team

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Searches on our portal soared by more than 70% on the 26th December, suggesting the current house boom still has further to run.

The housing market enjoyed a record Boxing Day bounce as Britons wasted no time in looking for a new home.

Traffic on our property search portal surged by 70.5% the day after Christmas, suggesting the boom seen during the second half of 2019 will continue into the New Year.

While searches for new homes traditionally spike on Boxing Day, this year’s jump was significantly higher than the 61% increase recorded on Boxing Day last year.

The rise in interest is also not a one-off, with searches on our portal for December up until the 26th running 33% higher than in the same period of 2019.

“Crucially, the Boxing Day bounce is not a one-off phenomenon; instead, it marks the start of the New Year uptick in traffic,” said Tom Parker, our consumer spokesman at Zoopla.

“This is set to intensify in January given the now imminent end to the stamp duty holiday, which is set to bring more hungry buyers into the market, keen to find and complete on their dream home before the stamp duty deadline expires at the end of March.”

Why is this happening?

We typically record high property search traffic on Zoopla on Boxing Day as people turn their attention to the year ahead.

This year’s Boxing Day bounce is likely to have been particularly big due to the fact that social distancing measures meant many Britons spent Christmas with only their immediate family, and stayed at home.

In fact, a further 6m people living in England were plunged into tier four restrictions on Boxing Day.

The‘once in a lifetime’ reassessment of housing triggered by the first lockdown is also likely to be continuing to drive interest in moving, particularly with new lockdown measures being imposed.

Who does it affect?

The bounce is great news for people who want to sell a property as it suggests interest among potential buyers is still high, despite the fact that it is estimated that only around half of people who have an offer accepted in January will complete their purchase in time to benefit from the stamp duty holiday.

It is less good news for buyers, as it suggests competition for homes remains intense, particularly as successive lockdowns has led to people focusing on similar property features, such as detached houses with gardens, space to work from home and rural locations, according to analysis of ouradvanced search property tool.

What’s the background?

After a slow first half of the year, the property market has seen a strong second half, leading to a total of £300bn-worth of properties changing hands during the whole of 2020, £62bn more than in 2019, according toour latest House Price Index.

The high levels of buyer demand, combined with a shortage of homes for sale, pushed annual house price growth up to a three-year high of 3.9% in December.

Parker said: “The property market has gone from strength to strength this year in the wake of Covid and the various lockdown restrictions, and it’s great to see this continue through to Boxing Day and hopefully beyond.

“With more people spending more time at home this festive season, many are realising that their home falls short when it comes to delivering that Christmas magic - perhaps because the space is too small, the location is lacking, or it is too far from loved ones.”

Top three takeaways

  • The housing market enjoyed a record Boxing Day bounce as Britons wasted no time in looking for a new home
  • Traffic on our portal surged by 70.5% on Boxing Day, suggesting the current boom has further to run
  • Searches on our portal for December up until the 26th were 33% higher than in the same period of 2019.

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