Despite the recent warm weather, it seems the housing market could still be stuck into a cold snap. The HMRC have released their publication detailing the number of residential and non-residential property transactions (above £40,000) in the UK and its constituent countries. The report can be seen in full here.
Key findings include:
- For March 2018, the number of non-adjusted residential transactions was 10.9% lower than in March 2017
- Between February 2018 and March 2018, the seasonally adjusted figure is 11.8% lower, compared with the same month the previous year
Shaun Church, Director at Private Finance, comments:
“Spring is normally when the housing market starts to heat up, however with the latest figures showing an almost 12% year on year decline in transactions, the UK housing market could still be stuck in a cold snap.
“Recently published mortgage data showed a record number of homeowner approvals back in February. Recent initiatives to get first-time buyers into the housing market have galvanised the lower rungs of the UK property ladder and triggered a flurry of mortgage activity among new buyers.
“Change could soon be on the horizon for the property market. In the coming months as these deals progress and eventually close, we could be witnessing a similar uplift in completing transactions. However, anecdotally we are hearing that the upper end of the market remains sluggish, with rising prices and stamp duty continuing to prevent movement further along the chain.”
Emoov.co.uk has also released their latest report, the National Hotspots Index for Q1, 2018. This gives details into the key areas with the highest demand for properties, as well as cities with the lowest.
Key findings include:
- Demand for properties in the UK as a whole remained static at 36%
- Swindon is currently the hottest spot for property demand, at 66%, followed by Glasgow, Newport, Edinburgh and Ely
- Demand in London fell by 15%, making it now the 7th lowest city for property demand in the UK
- Demand levels in London’s commuter belt remain higher than average, at 40%
Founder and CEO of Emoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, commented:
“Market activity has remained subdued throughout the start of the year, but it seems as if the tide is finally starting to turn and we should see conditions improve as the year goes on.
There are plenty of pockets across the nation that continue to see strong levels of buyer interest, however, market uncertainty has seen many sellers refrain from selling and in turn, the lack of varied stock has seen buyer demand remain restricted for the large part.
As we now enter the busiest period of the year for home sellers and buyers, we should see demand across the board stabilise and along with additional factors, such as the intended improvement in the regulation of estate agents, confidence will start to return to the UK property market.”
With the combined reports of both the HMRC and Emoov, it seems there are many areas where demand is high, and as Quirk said, perhaps UK buyers will one day regain confidence in the nation’s property market. Check out our property news category for more on the latest property news!