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Gloucestershire Business News

Residential property investment topped £6billion in 2020

Despite a difficult year for the commercial property market, UK residential investment volumes matched 2018's all-time high, reaching £6.1billion in 2020.

Some £3.5bn of the investment was placed in the growing Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector. By the end of the year the total BTR pipeline stood at 126,085 units, a 17 per cent increase on a year earlier.

Andrew White, head of residential at Colliers, said: "UK residential property is a solid investment option in the UK, particularly in the burgeoning Build-to-Rent sector as there is a perfect storm of a shortage of housing, and a huge affordability gap, especially for those who want to work and live in London. Over the last year the sector has grown 20 per cent and is going to continue to grow to meet the country's housing needs.

"In addition to Build-to-Rent our cities, and in particular London, will always be attractive to overseas investors. Despite Brexit the UK is still a gateway location to Europe and America, providing access to a secure financial market and another currency to capitalise on."

As well as investment properties, consumer residential sales performed well last year.

Although the first UK lockdown prevented property viewings from taking place, the Chancellor's announcement of a stamp duty holiday last spring helped to capitalise on the pent-up demand which appeared once restrictions were lifted.

In Q4 2020 transaction figures reached 351,000, the second highest quarterly figure since the global financial crisis (behind Q1 2016 when it reached 387,000 ahead of second home stamp duty changes introduced in April that year).

Also during Q4 2020 there were 307,000 mortgage approvals, with an average mortgage size of £211,119.

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