Wet weather dampens UK property market

After a roaring start to 2014 the UK property market has assumed a slower pace as we enter the spring months. National data recorded by the Agency Express Property Activity Index has highlighted a drop in properties ‘Sold’ between the months February and March,  falling to -6.60%. In the same light, reports from the Bank of England have also shown that mortgage lending fell to a four month low, with speculation of it being a result of a prolonged wet winter. The statement shows validity as national new listings ‘For Sale’ continued to rise for the third consecutive month, up by 6.40% maintaining our confidence in the continued growth of the UK property market.

Regional month on month data recorded by the Property Activity Index shows that of the 12 regions recorded, five made increases on properties ‘Sold’. The UK’s top performing region was the West Midlands up by +27.40% followed by marginal increases from Scotland up by+3.60%, Wales +1.50%, Yorks & Humber +0.80% and The South East by +0.50%.  The UK’s largest fallers were London dropping by -17.90% and the South West by -16.90%.

It was a resilient month for new listings ‘For Sale’ with 8 of the 12 regions reporting increases. The West Midlands bucked seasonal trends with a solid increase of +43.30%, the region’s best figures for March since the Property Activity Index’s first records in 2008.  Wales has also shown prominent increases in new listings ‘For Sale’ rising by +26.80%, again reporting record best figures.  In fact upon review of the last three months, post launch of the Welsh ‘Help to Buy’ scheme the region has consistently made increases in both properties ‘Sold’ and new listings ‘For Sale’, which gives testament to the success of the government incentive so far.

The Property Activity Index’s month on month comparisons has highlighted a slump in March which may have been an effect of this year’s extreme weather. However figures calculated over a 3 month period still remain robust, with all of the 12 regions reporting continued increases in both properties ‘Sold’ and new listings ‘For Sale’.

Agency Express Comments

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

After the recent surge in the UK property market March’s lull may be adversely perceived. It is important however to look back and review how the market has performed and improved month on month. When reviewing the figures we can see that overall growth continues, so figures from this month’s Property Activity Index give me no concerns for upcoming months.  

Monthly % Changes for March 2014

% Changes for Jan - March 2014

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
Mar 14Mar 13Mar 14Mar 13
NATIONAL6.412.7-6.612.7
Central England-22.5-8-12.411.3
East Anglia-1.115.4-13.517.2
East Midlands10.118.3-1.432.2
London3.20.8-17.96.4
North East-16.624.6-4.942.2
North West20.312.8-5.610.7
Scotland1.526.33.618.4
South East7.4180.56.1
South West-9.618.2-16.923.8
Wales26.83.71.5-19.3
West Midlands43.3127.42.4
Yorks & Humber21.513.30.811.6
New ListingsProperties Sold
Jan -
Oct 14
Jan -
Mar 13
Jan -
Mar 14
Jan -
Mar 13
NATIONAL27.530.11520
Central England19.726.920.422
East Anglia23.828.114.726.4
East Midlands2734.51323.8
London18.721.98.122.6
North East18.144.314.844.9
North West36.331.414.611.7
Scotland27.834.313.914.9
South East2835.217.319.6
South West18.831.36.617.5
Wales37.730.623.210
West Midlands52.52934.212.1
Yorks & Humber3027.114.720.9
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