Property transactions hit 2 year high

Warren Lewis
14th September 2018

The latest data from estate agents, haart, has revealed that during August house prices across England and Wales fell by 1.9% and by 3.1% on the year with the average price of a home now sitting at £223,834.

According to the figures, new buyer demand for homes fell by 4.5% on the month but is up 13% annually. The number of properties coming onto the market fell by 1.5% but has risen by 11.1% on the year. In August there were over 11 buyers chasing every property across England and Wales.

The market has become more efficient this month, as the number of transactions has risen by 10%, whilst the number of viewings has risen by 1.1% suggesting that buyers looked at fewer properties before choosing to buy.

The average purchase price for first-time buyers has risen by 2.9% on the month and by 9% on the year. This comes as the number of first-time buyers registering onto the market has increased by 2.8% on the month and by 25.5% on the year.

The average amount first-time buyers are paying for a deposit has risen by 7.4% on the month but has fallen by 3.1% on the year.

The Lettings Market

The number of tenants entering the market across England and Wales has risen by 5.4% on the month and by 35% on the year. The average rent is up 0.4% on the month, but has fallen by 4.3% on the year. The average rent now sits at £1,324 across England and Wales. Demand in London has risen by 6.3% on the month, and by 42% on the year.

London rents are up 2.3% on the month but are up 4.6% on the year, with the average now sitting at £1,923.

The number of landlords registering to buy has fallen by 2.9% on the month and by 28.4% on the year across the UK. In London, the number fell by 12.2% on the month, but by 22.4% on the year. The number of buy-to-let sales fell by 5.3% on the year across England and Wales and by 21.1% in London. Average buy-to-let sale prices are up 14.7% across England and Wales and by 12.3% in London

Paul Smith, CEO of estate agent, haart, comments: “For over two years we have been listening to bold claims from commentators and public figures about the impact that Brexit will have on the housing market, but what we are seeing on the ground is proving them otherwise. The number of buyers entering the market is at the highest in two years, and the number of property transactions in August is the most seen since November 2016.

Even the formerly sluggish London market is starting to make a u-tum. House prices are down slightly on the month and are flat on the year, but transactions have jumped 15% on the month. With 20 buyers chasing every property on the market in London, it is clear that it is a lack of stock that is really holding the market back from reaching its full potential.

We are continuing to see buy-to-let purchases fall on the year. The additional tax burdens which have been placed on the sector have certainly been a set-back but their impact has utterly been overdone by industry commentators. Investors should recognise that buy-to-let is still a worthwhile investment. Rents in London are up 5% on the year and tenant demand is swelling – where else can you find conditions for return this favourable?

But the market is not without its flaws. The government needs to re-double its efforts to increase housing stock, and there is growing clamour within the industry for further radical action following the success of last year’s stamp duty cut for first-time buyers.”

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