UK property market resilient during 2011

Regionally, there were isolated pockets of growth with five out of the twelve regions actually showing increases in the number of properties achieving ‘Sold’ status in 2011 compared to the previous year. London topped the annual table for hot-spots, up +13.5% on 2010, followed by the Wales, up +12.0%, West Midlands, up +6.4%, East Anglia, up + 3.2% and East Midlands, up +1.6%. When it came to the regional ‘not-so-hot-spots’ for 2011, the North East was bottom of the table with a drop in the number of properties ‘Sold’ in 2011 against the previous year, down -14.0%, Yorkshire, down -12.3%, Central England, down -9.3%, Scotland, down -8.0%, South West, down -7.8%, South East, down -7.0% and the North West, down -2.8% on 2010

Regarding the number of new ‘For Sale’ listings recorded throughout 2011 compared to 2010, only one of the twelve regions covered in the Index generated an increase in figures, Wales, up +7.1%. The regional ‘not-so-hot-spots’ table for new ‘For Sale’ listings were the North East, down -24.8%, South East, down -19.3%, Yorkshire, down -12.8% and the West Midlands, down -6.2% compared to 2010 figures.

There was some good news for the month of December with several regions generating figures significantly better than traditionally can be expected, outperforming December 2010 by some margin for properties ‘Sold’ – Wales topped the table for month on month comparison, up +30.4% on November 2011, Central England, up +21.5%, Scotland, up +20.7% and London, up +17.8% against November.

The monthly data for December reveals some interesting ‘Sold’ peaks and troughs across the twenty two cities covered by the Property Activity Index compared to data from December 2010, with sixteen cities reporting growth in the number of ‘Sold’ properties against the previous year. Birmingham topped the table, up by +57.1%, closely followed by Bristol, up +44.7%, Cardiff, up +36.8%, Coventry, up +28.5% and Glasgow, up +22.4%. At the other end of the table, the cities that compared less favourably with 2010 total number of properties ‘Sold’ were Brighton, down by -37.3%, Leicester, down by -31.6%, Exeter, down by -23.1%, Carlisle, down by -13.1% and Colchester, down by -8.0%.

Commenting on the latest Index, Stephen Watson Managing Director, Agency Express, said: “2011 has been a very challenging year for the UK property market. A potent cocktail of government austerity measures combined with the Eurozone banking crisis, a lack of affordable mortgages and growing pressures on household finances have all seriously impacted on the market. Despite all these factors though, our Index shows that 2011 has managed to hold its ground against 2010 and across several regions, actually produced positive growth which is very promising. January is traditionally a strong month for the property market as many consumers consider the New Year - New Start scenario and put their properties on the market. Looking ahead at what 2012 has in store for the market, I believe we have another challenging year ahead as the factors impacting 2011 will still be in play throughout 2012. Our index does highlight though that if properties are realistically priced and the traditional stand-off between vendor and purchaser can be bridged, properties will sell. There are a few key issues that will help the market this year; I believe the stamp duty tax ‘window of opportunity’ which closes end of March should help kick start the first-time buyer end of the market; Interest rates must remain low but more importantly, mortgage lenders must continue to be creative in the packages they produce; UK economy must evidence some form of crisis stabilisation to reinstall some consumer confidence."

Monthly % Changes for December 2011

% Changes for Oct - December 2011

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
Dec 11Dec 10Dec 11Dec 10
NATIONAL-32.4-41.1-23.6-26.4
Central England4.4-40.9-18.4-19.6
East Anglia-38.9-39.9-25.9-25
East Midlands-24.8-51.9-28.2-28.7
London-39.3-37.3-16.3-22.8
North East-24.2-51-24.8-13
North West-40.4-41.6-28.5-25.5
Scotland-27.5-49.9-27.6-36.6
South East-45-40.6-39.8-30.7
South West-32.9-36.2-25.1-22.8
Wales-36.1-36.7-2.7-18.8
West Midlands-41-33.9-23.2-27.4
Yorks & Humber-17.4-40.6-14.5-35.2
New ListingsProperties Sold
Oct -
Dec 11
Oct -
Dec 10
Oct -
Dec 11
Oct -
Dec 10
NATIONAL-16-20.6-7.7-9.3
Central England-7.4-19.5-4.4-11.6
East Anglia-16.7-20.3-9.1-10.5
East Midlands-14-18.7-7.9-7.6
London-11.2-17.7-1.1-5.5
North East-14.8-28.5-6.4-12.8
North West-17.4-21.2-10.9-7.3
Scotland-18.7-24.7-13-16.8
South East-19.1-21.2-12.5-2.6
South West-19-20-4.5-6.5
Wales-17.8-17.5-5.4-2.3
West Midlands-18.6-17.9-5-11.9
Yorks & Humber-12.1-19.6-7.4-12.6
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