According to the latest Homemover Pulse by TwentyCi, the stock levels continue to increase steadily, with currently 227,949 residential properties up for sale across the UK, which is a rise in new instructions of 5.84%.
TwentyCi’s Homemover Pulse for August confirms that the property market is still going strong in contrast to the wider UK economy. However, the data also shows that the number of sales agreed and new instructions is starting to balance, and out.
So the slowdown of the market, first indicated by the slight fall in house prices according to the Halifax house price index, is continuing, with demand starting to slow down as well, as the rising interest rates and cost-of-living crisis is biting.
South East Has Highest Number Of New Instructions
The highest number of new instructions in August was in the South East of England, with currently 38,199 properties available on the market for sale.
While Inner London has 27,000 properties currently on the market, the number of new houses coming on the market in this region has actually fallen in August. However, it is the only region in the UK, where new instructions are higher than completions.
This means that buyers in Inner London have more choice than ones in other parts of the country.
The biggest increase in the number of new properties coming on the market has been seen in Wales and the South West of England, where over 10% more new instructions were recorded. Followed by the East Midlands, where 9% more properties have come on the market compared to last month.
Only Slight Rise In Demand
While the housing stock levels are increasing steadily since the past few months, demand is showing signs of reducing.
August has only seen a slight raise in sales agreed, with 0.75% across the UK compared to July, with 340,236 properties with sales agreed across the UK. However, it’s not the same picture in the various regions.
Demand stays high in the South East, North West and East of England. Showing that buyers are still keen on more space outside big cities.
Although the biggest increases have been reported in Scotland, Wales and the West Midlands.
On the other hand, the East of England, the North East, Outer London, Inner London and the East Midlands have all seen the number of sales agreed decline. This shows that in these areas demand has slowed down.
Number Of Completions Has Risen Slightly
In the three months to August, the number of completions has risen by a modest 0.14% across the UK compared to the three months to July.
But some regions have seen bigger increases, others have seen the number of completions decline.
In Scotland the number of completions has increased by a staggering 6.36%, whereas the North West of England has seen a decline of 3.85%.
This shows that the market is slowing down at different paces in different regions of the country.
How Will The New Prime Minister Impact The Market?
While the property market is still buoyant, industry insiders have been calling on the Government for months to act and solve burning issues.
With a new Prime Minister in post, property professionals have identified the two most important issues the new Government has to address.
According to a survey the new PM needs to focus on the low housing stock and on encouraging more energy efficient homes.
The soaring energy prices have shown the vital importance of making homes across the UK more energy efficient, as this can reduce household bills.
This includes improving existing homes, for which homeowners need financial support.
Propertymark is a strong advocate of making homes more energy efficient as the best solution to bringing down bills. However, it is unlikely that significant progress can be made until Ministers better understand the current housing stock and then apply realistic targets based on properties’ individual characteristics with sustained funding for homeowners.Nathan Emerson, Chief Executive at Propertymark
The second burning issue is the lack of housing supply. While stock levels are increasing slowly, the disparity between supply and demand is driving up prices, which will make purchasing a house less affordable for first-time buyers as well as side steppers.
Combined with rising mortgage rates and soaring energy costs, affordability will reduce further, which could price out many people from buying a house.
The property industry believes that the way forward is to bring thousands of empty properties back and introduce policies to ensure that new homes are built where they are needed.
We believe that gap can be closed through measures that bring the many tens of thousands of long-term empty properties back and the introduction of focussed targets for new homes that are based on an identified need for each tenure across the country.Nathan Emerson, Chief Executive at Propertymark