Estate agents saw highest demand in a decade in 2020

Over the course of 2020 there were typically 403 buyers registered per branch, according to NAEA Propertymark and ARLA Propertymark’s analysis of sales and letting data.

This means this year saw the highest demand in a decade, as the number of registered buyers per branch was higher than the previous peak of 379 in 2015, as well as 55% higher than the 260 averaged in 2010.

Mark Hayward, chief policy advisor at Propertymark, said: “Both the sales and rental markets have remained remarkably resilient throughout this trying year, despite market closure between March and May.

“The prioritisation by the government of a functioning property market and subsequent implementation of the stamp duty holiday as well as measures taken to keep the rent flowing within the private rental sector, have allowed for record breaking levels of house sales and rental accommodation.

“We are confident this boom will continue through the new year but grow increasingly concerned about the impact of the stamp duty cliff edge on 31st March 2021.

“This cliff edge has already increased pressure on service providers within the industry, causing delays for buyers and sellers, and could cause thousands of sales to fall through at the final hurdle as buyers realise their sale will not be completed ahead of the deadline.”

Owing to Covid-19 rent struggles, the number of tenants experiencing rent hikes has fallen this year to 36%, from an average of 44% in 2019.