Lettings market round-up 2016

With 2016 now behind us it is time to reflect on the events and figures that have shaped the UK lettings market.

February

February saw the launch of the Agency Express Property Activity Index Lettings report. Data revealed within the first release showed national figures for properties ‘To Let’ sitting at -8.1%, and figures for properties ‘Let’ at 4.50%. As we looked back at the Property Activity Index’s historical lettings data, February’s figures were true to trend. Figures in 2015 showed properties ‘To Let’ sitting -6.6%  and properties ‘Let’ at 5.5%.

During February, a strong market was also reported in the North East with significant increases in both new listings ‘To Let’ sitting at 19.1% and properties ‘Let’ at 32.9%. Again, as we looked back at the index’s historical data February’s figures showed the number properties coming on to the market had remained constant, 19.8% in 2015. However, the number of properties ‘Let’ during 2015 fell by -5.5%, making 2016’s increases a record high for the region.

March & April

In March and April, we witnessed mixed activity across UK lettings market. March saw a small incline in the number of properties coming on to the market, sitting at 0.6%. However, activity was down compared to 2015 where we saw figures sitting at 3.3%.  Figures for properties ‘Let’ during March sat at -3%, again the Index’s historical records showed more activity in 2015 with ‘Lets’ sitting at 1.3%.

April data revealed a national spike in activity with new listings ‘To Let’ sitting at 12.50% and properties ‘Let’ at 8.60%.  Historically the Property Activity Index has shown a decline in activity during April. Therefore, it was evident that figures had been artificially stimulated by activity surrounding the ‘Buy to let’ stamp duty changes.

May & June

During May, we saw record lows for the UK lettings market. New listings sat at -11.90% and properties ‘Let’ sat at -11.10%. This marked the largest month on month decline for May since the indexes first records in 2012.  During May the Council of Mortgage Lenders also confirmed that gross buy-to-let lending had fallen after the rush in activity to beat the stamp duty changes. So, while the dip in May’s figures did appear dramatic they were somewhat distorted by the stamp duty changes. 

As we moved in to June numbers started to raise again. National figures for properties ‘Let’ saw a robust increase sitting at 9.6%, while new listings ‘To Let’ sat at 1.8%. Although we did witness some buoyancy across the market, the Property Activity Index’s historical data showed year-on-year supply had fallen. 

July to September

Throughout July and August, the UK rental market typically sees a slowdown in activity.  July saw a mixed market. National figures for new listings ‘To Let’ bucked the seasonal trend sitting at 3.6% while properties ‘Let’ across the nation declined, sitting at -5.2%.

August figures remined on trend with new listings ‘To Let’ sitting at -4.1% and properties ‘Let’ at -1.9%.   However, the Property Activity Index’s historical data showed the declines made in 2016 were less than those recorded in 2015.

October & November

October figures reported month on growth with new listings ‘To Let’ sitting at 2.6%. However, the Property Activity Index’s historical data revealed greater growth in 2015 where figures sat at a robust 11.5%.  Scotland was the months top performing region. Following two consecutive months of decline new listings ‘To Let’ sat at 10.4% and properties ‘Let’ at 11.7%. 

November brought further growth for the UK lettings market. National figures for new listings ‘To Let’ sat at a robust 13.9%. Across the rest of the UK nine of the twelve regions recorded by the index reported increases in new properties ‘To Let’.

December

The latest data from the Agency Express Property Activity Index has, as expected revealed declines in December’s market.  Remaining true to trend new listings ‘To let’ sat at -36.1%. However, properties let during the period fell to sit at -31.3, marking the largest decline for December on record.

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

 As the UK’s largest estate agency board service provider we are the first to witness growth in the UK property market.  The services we deliver are closely tracked and monitored via our estate agency board management system Signmaster3.  We collect board movement data 24hrs a day 7 days a week, from a property being placed on the market to completion of sale.  As a result, we are able to share this information with you and compare what is happening on the streets to what is being reported by financial institutions.

Monthly % Changes for December 2016

% Changes for Oct - December 2016

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

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

New Listings Properties Let
Dec 16 Dec 15 Dec 16 Dec 15
NATIONAL -36.1 -31.7 -31.3 -23.9
Central England -30.8 -30.5 -29 -22.1
East Anglia -27.9 -11 -29.6 -24.9
East Midlands -29.3 -53.3 -18.6 -23.6
London -44.4 -32.4 -39.3 -8.9
North East -41.7 -22.1 -40.2 -34.1
North West -42.2 -42.8 -24.5 -18.3
Scotland -38.3 -32 -38.2 -37.9
South East -43.5 -15.7 -35.1 -31.2
South West -36.2 -39.2 -32.1 -15.9
Wales -41.2 -40.2 -34.8 -38.8
West Midlands -29.9 -20.3 -29.8 -19.8
Yorks & Humber -27.6 -36.5 -29.2 -28.7
New Listings Properties Let
Oct -
Dec 16
Oct -
Dec 15
Oct -
Dec 16
Oct -
Dec 15
NATIONAL -7.9 -6.5 -12.6 -12.1
Central England -8.2 -3.5 -12 -10
East Anglia -5.9 -7 -13.4 -15.8
East Midlands -5.7 -9 -4.4 -10.3
London -15.7 -7.2 -17.7 -13.4
North East -10.9 -8.5 -10.2 -16.9
North West -6 -11.9 -8.6 -8.7
Scotland -8.4 -13.4 -9.5 -23.5
South East -4.5 -1.5 -8.7 -12.2
South West -7.3 -2.2 -14.5 -8.2
Wales -8.4 -9.2 -19.3 -11.5
West Midlands -7.6 -1.8 -15.9 -15.2
Yorks & Humber -9.5 -7.2 -12.5 -8.7
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