Uk housing market stalls pre election

After a buoyant start to 2015 the latest data revealed by the Agency Express Property Activity Index shows declines across the UK property market. 

April which is characteristically a consistent and robust month for the property market fell for the first time in three months. Properties ‘Sold’ dropped by -4.9% and new listings ‘For Sale’ by -3.8%.  

The unexpected decline may be as a result of the upcoming General Election and in recent reports the NAEA stated that almost half (46%) of NAEA member agents have seen the market cooling in the lead up to the Election.  With over a quarter (27%) of agents thinking the Election will have the biggest impact on the housing market this year.

Analysing the Property Activity Index’s historical data records show that the last decline made for the month was in fact during the 2010 pre Elections, where properties ‘Sold’ fell by -0.7%.  The trend then continued in to 2011 with ‘Sold’ figures falling again by -3.6% before resuming its normal activity until this month.

Looking at performance across the rest of the UK only 3 of the 12 regions recorded by the Index reported increases in properties ‘Sold’.  The North East reported their record best for the month rising by 9.4%.  ‘Sold’ figures for the South East seemed unaffected by the upcoming Election recording a typical rise of 1.3%.  A marginal rise of 0.9% was recorded by the East Midlands exhibiting their largest increase for April since 2012. 

The largest declines made for properties ‘Sold’ in this month’s Property Activity Index were recorded by Wales and Scotland. Scotland fell by -10.80%, however it did see an increase in new listings ‘For Sale’ rising by +1.40%.  This may be as a result of the predicted price rises over the next 3 months according to RICS.  Properties ‘Sold’ in Wales fell by -10.30% their largest decline for the month since the Index’s first records in 2007.

Agency Express Comments

Commenting on the latest index results, Stephen Watson, Managing Director of Agency Express said:  

This month’s Property Activity Index figures are fascinating. What is usually a robust and active market across the nation, has seemingly halted in anticipation of the upcoming General Election.  As we can see the Index shows that this trend did occur 5 years ago although to a higher degree this year.  It will be interesting to see the result of this year’s General Election and how that is going to impact the UK property market moving forwards.

Monthly % Changes for April 2015

% Changes for Feb - April 2015

New Listings
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

Properties Sold
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

New ListingsProperties Sold
Apr 15Apr 14Apr 15Apr 14
NATIONAL-3.85.5-4.97.4
Central England1.317.5-9.1-11.5
East Anglia-1.76.7-9.810.4
East Midlands-12.3-1.30.9-2.1
London4.9-7.1-0.75.8
North East-4.911.49.41.6
North West-3.823.8-0.734.2
Scotland1.42.1-10.85.7
South East-3.431.31.5
South West-2.87.7-2.98.6
Wales-2-1.9-10.320.2
West Midlands-9.7-12.1-4-14.5
Yorks & Humber-16.29.2-7.820.9
New ListingsProperties Sold
Feb -
Jun 15
Feb -
Apr 14
Feb -
Apr 15
Feb -
Apr 14
NATIONAL11.817.115.616.4
Central England12.610.614.78.6
East Anglia9.812.514.314.7
East Midlands13.113.218.915.2
London11.910.712.110.1
North East7.614.622.515.6
North West11.531.116.727
Scotland17.320.313.415.4
South East11.112.415.414.8
South West13.410.816.711.1
Wales12.422.612.727.2
West Midlands12.322.220.819.1
Yorks & Humber8.921.717.629.1
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