Property market round-up 2016

With 2016 now behind us it is time to reflect on the events and figures that have shaped the UK property market in the past 12 months.

January

We witnessed a strong start to 2016 with national figures showing buoyant month on month increases in both new listings ‘For Sale’ sitting at 93.7% and properties ‘Sold’ at 31.2%.  As we looked back over the Property Activity Index’s historical data, figures showed the increases made in January were the largest for the month since the index’s first records in 2007.  As a reflection, January’s unseasonal rise seemed primarily driven by a large increase in mortgage approvals throughout December, and an influx of landlords placing properties on the market in order to avoid the pending stamp duty changes on buy-to-let properties.

February & March

January’s buoyant trend continued in to February as we witnessed further growth across the market, and a sense of urgency to complete sales before the stamp duty hike in April.  Month on month figures for new listings ‘For Sale’ sat at 23.3% as did figures for properties ‘Sold’ at 37.6%. In particular, the increase in activity marked a notable month for the North West. Following five slow months the region recorded a 51% increase in properties ‘Sold’.

However as we headed in to March the momentum did not continue, but with an early Easter holiday a slowdown in activity was not unexpected. Month on month figures for properties ‘Sold’ fell to sit at -10% as did properties ‘For Sale’ at -4.7%. 

April & May

Moving in to April and May we again witnessed further mixed months for the property market. Following the slowdown in activity during March, April bounced back with new listings ‘For Sale’ sitting at 8.2%, but figures for properties ‘Sold’ did not show the same resilience and sat at -1.5%. It was in this month the Council of Mortgage Lenders stated that property market figures had been distorted by the stamp duty changes and they that they would expect to see 10,000 fewer mortgage transactions each month in April, May and June, than would otherwise have been the case, which would offset the increase in activity seen in previous months.

During May national figures for properties ‘Sold’ declined further to sit at -4.4% while new listings ‘For Sale’ sat at -3.7%.  While a slowdown during May is not unusual the decline was greater than in years previous, reinforcing that figures were indeed distorted by the stamp duty changes. 

June to September

June revealed growth for the UK property market. Month on month data recorded by the index showed a nationwide increase in both new listing ‘For Sale’ sitting at 10.6% and properties ‘Sold’ at 2%.  The increase in figures also appeared consistent with reports from Dr Rebecca Harding, Chief Economic Advisor at The British Bankers Association, who stated: ‘Mortgage approvals had bounced back following the sharp drop, caused by the initial reaction to the stamp duty surcharge.’  

July’s figures remained true to trend with a slowdown at the start of the summer holidays. However, figures for properties ‘Sold’ during August bucked the seasonal trend to sit at 2.8%, a record best outcome for the month. As we entered September normal activity resumed.

October & November

During October, we’d traditionally expect a seasonal slowdown and in this period figures did fall.  Properties ‘Sold’ sat at 0.3% and new listings ‘For Sale’ at -11.2%.  While the adjustment came as no surprise the decline in figures was greater than those recorded 12 months previous, where new listings sat at -4.3% and properties ‘Sold’ at 2.7%.

Moving in to November historically the decline would continue, however figures saw an unseasonal spike with new listings ‘For Sale’ sitting at a -4.7% (-12.2% 2015) and properties ‘Sold’ at -1.8% (-14.7% 2015).  Reviewing the Property Activity Index’s historical data, we can see the market has not seen this level of activity since 2013.

December

The latest data from the Agency Express Property Activity Index has, as expected revealed declines in December’s property market.  Remaining true to trend new listings ‘For Sale’ fell to sit at -43.8% as did properties ‘Sold’ at -37%.

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.

Over the past 12 months we’ve witnessed a mixed property market which has been heavily affected by various government changes and announcements.  As we move in to 2017 and with predictions of house price increases, it will be to see how the market reacts over the next 6 months.

Monthly % Changes for December 2016

% Changes for Oct - December 2016

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
Dec 16 Dec 15 Dec 16 Dec 15
NATIONAL -43.8 -45.3 -37 -29.9
Central England -53.9 -55.9 -36.7 -21.3
East Anglia -51.5 -43.7 -42.1 -38.8
East Midlands -36.8 -37.8 -36.7 -36.3
London -46.4 -66.2 -38.8 -24.7
North East -41.3 -17.6 -38 -25.6
North West -35.7 -36.5 -36.2 -34.1
Scotland -42.8 -40.1 -36.4 -27
South East -41.5 -47.4 -29.4 -26
South West -45.4 -38 -35.6 -20.9
Wales -41.7 -46.8 -27.9 -31.1
West Midlands -35.3 -46.1 -37.5 -37.7
Yorks & Humber -37.7 -34.5 -41.9 -27.3
New Listings Properties Sold
Oct -
Dec 16
Oct -
Dec 15
Oct -
Dec 16
Oct -
Dec 15
NATIONAL -19.2 -19.3 -12.7 -13.3
Central England -19 -17.2 -14.5 -8.7
East Anglia -19.3 -17.5 -14.2 -15.8
East Midlands -18.6 -16.5 -17.1 -11.2
London -17.4 -17.1 -11.3 -11.3
North East -26.6 -14.6 -13 -10.8
North West -16.6 -18.8 -10.6 -12.5
Scotland -23 -22.6 -12.5 -13.3
South East -19.3 -20.1 -12.4 -13.9
South West -20.7 -20.3 -10.3 -12.8
Wales -17.8 -22.2 -10.9 -14.9
West Midlands -17.7 -24.5 -11.3 -16.6
Yorks & Humber -18.7 -19.5 -15.3 -13.5
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