The most recent data released by Haart has shown that property prices in England and Wales slipped by 0.5% month-on-month in January.
What’s more, yearly prices were down by 3.5% year-on-year, with average house prices now standing at £223,885.
Data from the investigation shows that new buyer demand for properties increased by 7.8% in January. However, this was down by 37.1% year-on-year. What’s more, the number of properties coming onto the market was down by 0.3% month-on-month and 1.9% annum-on-annum.
With new stock decreasing and potential buyers increasing, there are now 11 would-be buyers for each instruction.
Efficiency for the market has dropped, with the slowdown in transactions being counteracted by a higher number of viewings. This means that more buyers are choosing to view more properties before they buy.
In London, the average price of a property fell by 1.2% over the month, but increased by 0.8% on an annual basis.
There were 7.6% more buyers entering the market, but is down by 31.6% over the course of the year.
Overall, the number of tenants coming into the market has risen by 0.1% in the month to January, but was down 23% year-on-year. The average rent paid by tenants in England and Wales now stands at £1,354pcm.
The capital has seen the number of new tenants fall by 24.6% month-on-month and by 23.6% annually. In addition, the average rent in London fell by 0.8% and stands at £1,856.
Additionally, the number of landlords registering to purchase an investment property rose by 4.6% month-on-month, but fell by a staggering 52.7% year-on-year. Buy-to-let sales also fell in England and Wales, but rose by 8% month-on-month in London.
Sales slipped by 3.1% month-on-month and by 10.4% year-on-year in England and Wales.
Paul Smith, CEO of haart, noted: ‘We’ve seen a New Year surge in interest from potential buyers across the country – valuations, viewings and online searches are all up significantly. This isn’t just a seasonal phenomenon. The second half of 2016 was one of subdued market activity as would-be buyers and sellers took stock in uncertain times, but this in turn created huge pent-up demand in the market which is now starting to return. However, these blatant intentions to move are yet materialise as an increase in transactions, which are still suffering on month the month and the year.’
‘Clearly a multitude of barriers are still hindering buyers from taking the plunge and the Housing White Paper is the Government’s opportunity to tackle them. Government stamp duty incentives for downsizers and first time buyers would be an easy way to get the market moving, while buy to let demand could easily be channelled into build to rent through incentives if the government refuses to drop its stamp duty surcharge on second homes. Solving the housing crisis will take action at both ends of the property market, and failure to recognise this will see the paper stumbling before it gets off the starting blocks,’ he continued.
Concluding, Mr Smith said: ‘The Government must be creative in its solutions and dare to think the politically unthinkable – limited green belt deregulation is a policy with the power to truly transform the supply of homes. Opportunities for radical reform don’t come around very often, and so it is crucially important that the government get this right, and let this be the hallmark of modern housing reform in the UK.’