Zoopla released their UK Cities Index Report for February, stating that UK house price growth is 1.6%, a 1.2% increase compared to a year ago, with cities in the North and the Midlands continuing to dominate. The COVID-19 virus has had a rapid impact on housing demand which is 40% lower in the week ending 20th March, however Zoopla have stated that they do not expect house prices to fall significantly in the short term.
A rebound in consumer confidence saw the housing market register that strongest start to the year in five years, after a weaker period of during 2019. This rebound in consumer confidence has resulted in the headline rate increase of 1.6%, in comparison to the 1.2% increase a year ago.
At a city level, the annual price growth ranges from 3.8% in Nottingham to -2.2% in Aberdeen. In London, the annual house price growth of 0.5% an increase from -1.1% in February 2019. The Northern Powerhouse cities: Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham have all also witnessed an annual house price growth of 3.3%, 3.0%, 2.8% and 2.6% respectively.
Despite the strong start to the year, the arrival of COVID-19 has totally changed the dynamics of the market and the outlook for 2020. Zoopla reported the week ending 20th March, new buyer demand fell by 40% as households self-isolate and put major decisions on hold, such as buying a new home. It has also been anticipated that demand is set to fall further now the UK has introduced lockdown restrictions for the foreseeable future.
Original content taken from Zoopla’s UK cities house price index report, February 2020.