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Extraordinary increases driven by buy-to-let boom

The latest data revealed by the Agency Express Property Activity Index has shown a spike in activity for the UK lettings market. National figures for new listings ‘To Let’ rose by 12.50% and properties ‘Let’ increased by 8.60%.  

April’s extraordinary increase appears to be driven by March’s buy-to-let boom to which the Council of Mortgage Lenders have also reported a borrowing of £7.1bn, a total of 45,000 loans leaving figures up by 142% compared to March 2015.

Looking back over the Property Activity Index’s historical data, figures recorded in 2016 indicate the largest increase in activity for April since the index’s first records in 2010.

New listings ‘To Let’

Properties ‘Let’

April 2016  12.50%
April 2015  -11.40%
April 2014  -6.9%
April 2013  -1.80%
April 2012  -1.20%
April 2011  -2.10%
April 2010  -6.20%

April 2016  8.60%
April 2015  -15.9%
April 2014  -9.2%
April 2013  1.10%
April 2012  -5.70%
April 2011  -10.60%
April 2010  -9.10%

The buoyant trend was wide spread across the UK, eleven of the twelve regions tracked by the Property Activity Index recorded increases in new listings ‘To Let’ and ten regions recorded increases in properties ‘Let’. 

A strong market was reported in the capital, London saw significant increases in both new listings ‘To Let’ rising by 21.12% and properties ‘Let’ by a robust 30.35%. Again looking back at the Property Activity Index’s historical data, month on month figures for April 2016 are the best on record.  

Other regions to record large increases in this month’s index included:

Properties ‘To Let’

  • East Midland 29.10%
  • Central England  27.60%
  • London  21.10%
  • Yorkshire & Humberside 19.20%
  • Scotland 15.10%

 Properties ‘Let By’

  • London  30.40%
  • Wales 24.00%
  • North West 13.60%
  • East Midlands 9.60%

The largest decline reported in this month’s Property Activity Index was recorded by the North East. Properties ‘To Let’ fell by -4.60%, although over a three month rolling period figures remain up by 7.50%.

Commenting on the Property Activity Index Lettings Report, Stephen Watson Managing Director of Agency Express said: 

As predicted in last month lettings index, Aprils figures seem to have been be artificially stimulated by recent events in the market. Historically the Property Activity Index has shown us a decline in activity during April, baring one or two occurrences. Therefore it is important look beyond April’s figures for a more balanced view of the UK lettings market.

Monthly % Changes for April 2016

% Changes for Feb - April 2016

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

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

New ListingsProperties Let
Apr 16Apr 15Apr 16Apr 15
Central England27.6-8.18.3-25.4
East Anglia7.2-6.7-1.4-11.5
East Midlands29.1-11.29.6-24.5
North East-4.6-1.67-3.4
North West13-5.413.6-24.7
South East5.4-12.46.4-19.2
South West10.8-14.97.7-11.4
West Midlands2.8-13.78.3-8.3
Yorks & Humber19.2-9.5-3.9-8
New ListingsProperties Let
Feb -
Aug 16
Feb -
Apr 15
Feb -
Apr 16
Feb -
Apr 15
Central England2.8-7.10.9-5.6
East Anglia-1.2-5.42.5-3.1
East Midlands3.9-6.81.9-10.4
North East7.
North West6.4-44.9-2.7
South East-4.1-10-1-0.1
South West0.8-3.91.2-0.2
West Midlands5.2-8.43.20
Yorks & Humber0.8-6.30.5-3.1

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