‘There’s no doubt’: House prices ‘almost certain’ to continue to rise in 2022, says expert

House prices: Chartered Surveyor discusses impact of lockdown

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Guy Gittins, CEO of London and international residential property specialist, Chestertons, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about whether home buyers can expect house prices to continue to increase going into 2022. Mr Gittins said he would “almost certainly” expect prices to surge next year. Having looked at trends, viewings numbers and buyer activity, including new buyers coming to the market, Chestertons can try to determine where the market is heading.

The coronavirus pandemic saw the property market thrown into an unprecedented set of circumstances.

The market came to a halt in April 2020, creating a swell of buyer appetite once the market reopened.

Across the entire country, this buyer appetite has remained insatiable.

Mr Gittins said there have been “bigger numbers than we’ve ever seen” of buyers who are saying “now is the time to make a move”.

The property expert said this trend has continued right through the last 18 months.

“The momentum just carried on at a higher level than we’d ever seen before,” he said.

The market slowed down in July/August, which Mr Gittins attributed to some Britons finally enjoying a well-deserved holiday after months of travel restrictions.

However, what the property specialists didn’t expect was buyer appetite to return in September.

He continued: “The buyer numbers from that point on almost outstripped even what we were seeing in 2020 at the same time of year when we had the added incentive of the stamp duty holiday.

“So what does all that mean? Well, we’re still seeing that trend.

“Now, as we sit here we’re still seeing that the number of new buyers coming into the market is greater than we’ve ever seen before. Even bigger than we saw in 2020.”

Mr Gittins believes because of the volume of new buyers coming into the market, this current momentum will continue into 2022.

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He added: “There’s absolutely no doubt because generally that gives us about six months of really good visibility.

“My belief is that we will continue to see this price growth, probably at the same rates that we’ve seen across 2021.”

But, apart from buyer appetite, why will house prices continue to increase?

Mr Gittins said another interesting dynamic has emerged from the current market conditions – the number of properties available is now starting to diminish.

“London as a whole is probably about 15 percent or 20 percent down on the normal average number of properties that are available,” he explained.

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Put simply, there are more buyers than ever before and now there are fewer properties.

The property expert said that is what’s causing “price tension” and causing buyers to “fight over properties”.

He continued: “That’s what’s making prices rise slowly.

“We very much believe that that trend will certainly be here for at least the first six months of 2022 because that’s what we’ve got visibility over.

“My belief is that certainly beyond that, and I think a lot of other major estate agents all agree, that we’re probably back now to seeing some long term price growth of between three to five percent per year back into the London market.

“Certainly for the foreseeable future in the next two or three years.”

Mr Gittins said he is surprised that there are more buyers now than ever before, considering that last year many buyers were looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

But fundamentally, people are deciding they want to move house.

“Ultimately, a stamp duty saving is nice.

“But with or without that, these people who are moving and the buyers that are registering to look at homes have just made that decision and if they’ve made that decision, it’s really a needs and wants-based move.

“That’s really what Scott’s continuing to stimulate market.”

Chestertons is a London and international residential property specialist.

The company has one of the biggest network of branches in London, with 31 sites across the capital as far reaching as Richmond all the way over to Islington, Kensington and Knightsbridge.

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