Buyer Profiles – Year End 2021

By on Friday, January 21st, 2022 in Market Trends, Research, Sales.

Nationality

British buyers accounted for 58% of sales in our markets in 2021, which is a significantly lower proportion than in previous years. On average, in the period 2015-2021, they have made up almost 70% of all sales.  Buyers from EU nations were more active than in recent years, they were responsible for 22% of transactions compared to an average of 15% between 2015 and 2021. French buyers figured strongly and there was a larger than usual presence of Middle Eastern buyers than in any year since we began recording buyer nationality in 2015. 

This market is operating against a backdrop of the pandemic and the final departure of the UK from Europe. It was never going to be typical but the continuing activity of EU buyers is an indication that London has not lost its appeal and the imposition of the additional stamp duty on overseas investors in April of this year, does not seem to have had any discernible impact.  Prices in our markets are broadly at the levels they were in 2014 making the additional stamp duty less of a deterrent. 

Buyer Profiles – Year End 2021 

Funding

Cash buyers are always a significant force in our markets and that was true of 2021 as it has been over the longer term. Cash buyers accounted for around one third of all purchases in the last year, in line with the long term average.  Only a fifth of buyers needed a loan to cover more than 25% of the purchase price. Increasingly we are selling apartments to cash buyers where no fire safety works are required. 

Buyer Profiles – Year End 2021

Age

The dominant age band for buyers in our markets was 30-40 years old in 2021. They made up 60% of buyers, compared to an average of 36% in the period 2015-2021.  All other age bands declined in 2021. The thirty-somethings evidently spotted an opportunity to buy while competition was lower and other demands on their income were vastly reduced. 

Buyer Profiles – Year End 2021

Buyer Type

First time buyers and buyers of pied-a-terre properties both featured more prominently in 2021 than they have in previous years. On average between 2015 and 2021, first time buyers accounted for 20% of all transactions in our markets but over the last year their share of transactions rose to 31%.  Saving volumes have risen substantially over the past two years with reduced spending on holidays or social/cultural activities and that has helped young people to accumulate capital for deposits. 

The pied-a-terre buyer had all but disappeared from the market in 2020 at the height of the pandemic restrictions but, as we anticipated, interest in this market returned in 2021 as people who had relocated to more rural or coastal places experienced the inconvenience of a long commute, even if only for a few days a week.  

The other significant shift has been in buy to let investors whose presence fell from an average of 18% in 2015-21 to just 11% in 2021. We have written elsewhere about the retreat of investors from our markets. 

Buyer Profiles – Year End 2021

Buyer Profiles – Year End 2021
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