July sees surprise upturn for UK housing market

Of the 12 UK regions covered within the Index, 10 bucked the seasonal trend with month-on-month increases in new ‘for sale’ listings during July, the most marked being the North East – up by 38.5%, the East Midlands – up 20.4%, the South East – up 19.9% and East Anglia – up by 13%. The two regions showing monthly decline were Central – down by 1.6% and London – down by 14.9%.

For properties actually ‘sold’, eight regions reported positive month-on-month increases for July, with high-flyers being the North West – up by 19.7%, Scotland – up 21.2%, the West Midlands – up 34.9% and Wales – up by 41.8%. The exceptions to the upswing were the South East – down by 2.4%, Yorkshire – down 4.2%, the North East – down by 5.9% and London, down by the highest figure – 12.7%

There were also some very positive results for July 2012 from the majority of the 22 individual towns and cities covered by the Index. The nation’s hot-spots for new ‘for sale’ listings were Edinburgh, with an increase of 12.9%, Birmingham – up by 13.1%, Oxford – up 18.7% and Coventry – up by 40%.

When it came to positive results for properties ‘sold’ the UK’s prime movers were Newcastle – up by 21.3%, Southampton – up 23.6%, Colchester – up 28.6% and, again, Coventry – up by 30%.

Commenting on the latest Index results, Stephen Watson, Managing Director, Agency Express, said: “This has been a surprising month for the UK property market, showing a month-on-month July increase in both new listings and sold properties for the first time since our Index began in 2007, though there seems to be no real geographic variances between countries, regions and cities, other than Coventry appearing to be particularly buoyant! This upturn comes as a particularly pleasant surprise as certain factors were possibly expected to have a depressing effect on confidence within the market – our preoccupation with ‘double-dip recession’, the continuing Euro-zone crisis, the distraction of the Olympic Games taking people’s minds off putting properties on the market and the slump in mortgage lending figures to first-time buyers since the end of the stamp duty concession, which could well have restricted the bottom-end stimulus that the market depends upon. All of these factors considered, the UK housing market seems to be a definite ‘medal contender’ at the moment.”

Monthly % Changes for July 2012

% Changes for May - July 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
Jul 12 Jul 11 Jul 12 Jul 11
NATIONAL 5.6 -5.3 8.7 -2.1
Central England -1.6 -7.3 11.2 1
East Anglia 13 -7.3 6.4 4.5
East Midlands 20.4 2 5.8 -11.5
London -14.9 -10.9 -12.7 1.9
North East 38.5 -1.1 -5.9 -23.1
North West 4.2 12 19.7 8
Scotland 1.6 -17.7 21.2 -16.7
South East 19.9 -26.4 -2.4 -32.6
South West 0.1 8.2 13.2 13.8
Wales 8.8 11.8 41.8 20.9
West Midlands 2.4 -7.3 34.9 -22.3
Yorks & Humber 11.6 -8.3 -4.2 -4.5
New Listings Properties Sold
May -
Apr 12
May -
Jul 11
May -
Jul 12
May -
Jul 11
NATIONAL -1.6 -4.4 -2 -2.1
Central England -1.5 -5.6 0.1 0.5
East Anglia -0.8 -4 -4.3 -1.4
East Midlands -0.3 -4.2 -1.2 -1.7
London -2.5 0 -6.1 -5.1
North East 0.5 -6 -14.3 -4.3
North West -3.1 -2.1 -2.3 16.2
Scotland -3.8 -5 -3.8 -6.4
South East 1.1 -13 2 -18.4
South West -1.5 -2.2 3.3 -3.1
Wales -1.8 -1.4 -0.9 11.8
West Midlands -1.8 -4.4 8.4 -5.4
Yorks & Humber 0.3 -8.4 -4.3 -3.3
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