Todays News: Normality returning to UK housing market
Tue 22 Jul 2014
Normality is slowly being restored to UK property market conditions, according to new figures from HMRC, which reveal that sales are slowing down. The provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for June 2014 was 102,680 (residential), a dip of 0.2 per cent from May 2014. While conditions are cooling, though, sales are also 15.7 per cent up year-on-year, indicating the extent of the country's recovery. The long term movement in the number of residential property transactions reflects the general performance of the housing market over the past nine years, notes HMRC. Since December 2008, there has been a slow but steady upward trend in the seasonally adjusted count. This trend has grown at a faster rate since April 2013. Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, comments: "The UK property market is singing a different tune to that heard at the start of this year. The fierce competition for properties and unprecedented house price growth has subsided as a new wave of supply has come onto the market, stabilising price rises and restoring normality to trading conditions. Both buyers and sellers alike are benefitting from this new calmness in the market, with a greater array of available property to choose from and slightly slower pace of activity making stepping onto the ladder or trading up a less daunting prospect. "The implementation of tighter lending criteria and affordability checks has lengthened the borrowing process and cooled the market during this transitional phase. On a seasonally adjusted basis, house sales have dropped 0.2% in the month to June 2014. But taking a longer term view, the housing market recovery is still gaining strength, with sales up 15.7% in the past year. This wave of regulatory change will ensure lasting sustainability and responsibility of growth, but the government and the Bank of England need to be careful that future interventions are not premature and over-zealous. Beyond the capital, the housing market recovery still requires a watchful eye." Cambridge is fastest selling place in the UK. Properties across Great Britain are selling ten days faster than this time last year, according new data from the UK's number one property website Rightmove. The fastest selling location is Cambridge with an average of 27 days until a sale is agreed, and seven of the top ten fastest selling areas are all London boroughs, from Sutton and Lewisham both at 29 days to Bromley at 35. Warwick (33 days) and St Albans (34 days) also make the fastest selling top ten. Powys in Wales has the slowest selling properties, taking 113 days on average, followed by Gwynedd (112 days) and Sefton in Merseyside (106 days). The biggest falls year-on-year were in London (32% drop from 60 to 41 days), the South East (22% drop from 65 to 51 days) and the East (20% drop from 70 to 56 days). Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: "This new data shows just how different the pace of the housing market is at a very local level, and clearly displays that speed is key for bothbuyers and sellers. Buyers want to know that they can be the first to find new properties on the market, and sellers expect to have their property marketed as quickly as possible to find a suitable buyer."