Possible 'Olympic effect' on August housing market

All the 12 UK regions covered within the Index showed stronger than expected month-on-month decreases in new ‘for sale’ listings during August with the worst performers being East Anglia – down by 20.1%, the East Midlands – down 21.3%, the South East – down 21.6% and the North East – down by 23.1%. Interestingly, these four regions were the best performers during July so this perhaps shows a ‘balancing out’ of activity across the months.

For properties actually ‘sold’, all regions again showed month-on-month decreases for August with the hardest-hit regions being Central – down by 16.7%, the North East – down 17.2%, South West – down 20.7% and Wales – down by 21.1%. The least affected were the West Midlands and Yorkshire – both down by 3.4% - and Scotland – down by 2.6%.

The August downward trend continued for the majority of the 22 individual towns and cities covered by the Index. The nation’s black-spots for new ‘for sale’ listings were Southampton, with a drop of 28.6%, Newcastle – down by 31.8%, Milton Keynes – down 32% and Colchester – down by 36.1%.

 When it came to month-on-month results for properties ‘sold’ in August, compared to July, worst of the falls were in Cardiff – down by 28.4%, Coventry – down by 35%, Oxford – down 37.4% and Bristol – down 38.2%.

Stephen Watson, Managing Director, Agency Express, commented on the latest Index results saying: “The unusual seasonal upturn in July property activity certainly proved a hard act to follow in August – a month that’s normally subdued as everyone gets into holiday mode. In addition to this, events such as the Olympic Games can have an effect on the market, but the special circumstances of the London hosting, wall-to-wall media coverage and massive viewing audiences perhaps kept even more of us focusing on the winning of medals rather than trying to buy and sell houses. We’ll have to wait and see whether this is repeated as the Paralympics run their course during September. Other factors possibly influencing the level of confidence within the market remain the ongoing double-dip recession and the continuing murmurings of the Euro-zone crisis – so perhaps the sporting distractions are not a bad thing!”

Monthly % Changes for August 2012

% Changes for Jun - August 2012

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

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

New Listings Properties Sold
Aug 12 Aug 11 Aug 12 Aug 11
NATIONAL -14.1 -1.3 -11.3 3.9
Central England -10.6 8.8 -16.7 -6.6
East Anglia -20.1 -2.7 -12.2 -4.8
East Midlands -21.3 -6 -6 -9
London -12.4 -15.2 -5.4 6.8
North East -23.1 -8.4 -17.2 11.7
North West -9.5 -0.4 -14 5.7
Scotland -7.3 7.3 -2.6 22.4
South East -21.6 13.3 -11.3 28.5
South West -13.7 -1.8 -20.7 2.6
Wales -6 -1.3 -21.1 -2.4
West Midlands -12 -4.9 -3.4 16
Yorks & Humber -13.4 -3.2 -3.4 9.4
New Listings Properties Sold
Jun -
Apr 12
Jun -
Aug 11
Jun -
Aug 12
Jun -
Aug 11
NATIONAL -4.5 -5.6 -3.3 -1.1
Central England -6.7 -4.2 -7.6 -4.8
East Anglia -3.6 -6.1 -4.9 -2
East Midlands -4 -6.8 -0.2 -6.8
London -4 -7.4 -7.2 -3.2
North East -9.7 -12.7 -6.6 -6.6
North West -4.8 -0.6 -3.4 12.2
Scotland -7 -2.9 4.5 6.3
South East -0.4 -11.6 -2.9 -12.6
South West -4.6 -4.1 -2.4 -0.2
Wales 2.4 0.1 -5 8.2
West Midlands -5.6 -6.5 -1 -2.7
Yorks & Humber -5.2 -11.1 0.6 -4.2
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