Disappointing May halts 2012 growth trend in UK housing market

After several months of consecutive growth in 2012, the UK housing market took a step backwards during May according to the latest figures from the Agency Express Property Activity Index. Month-on-month data for May 2012 shows that UK-wide residential property sales decreased by -7.2% – whilst new ‘for sale’ listings also decreased by -5.5% compared to April. However there was some good news from the Index through the rolling 3-month average figures which reassuringly show a +4.3% increase in the number of new ‘for sale’ listings reported in 2012 and a +3.3% increase in the number of properties ‘sold’ in 2012.

Of the 12 UK regions covered within the Index, four saw month-on-month increases in new listings during May. Regional hot-spots for new ‘for sale’ listings were Central – up by 5.5%, the North East – up 5.1%, Yorkshire – up 2.6% and Scotland – up by 2.0%. At the opposite end of the regional tables, the not-so-hot-spots were the South East – down by 18.1%, Wales – down by 17.0%, East Anglia – down by 12.1% and the East Midlands – down by 11.0%.

For ‘sold’ properties, the only three regions showing a month on month increase for May were the West Midlands – up 26.1%, Central – up 6.1% and the South East – up 3.7%. At the bottom of the regional table for the number of properties ‘sold’ in May compared to April were the North East – down by 32.0%, Scotland – down by 22.7%, the North West – down by 10.3% and Wales – down by 10.1%.

Monthly comparisons of new ‘for sale’ listings for individual towns and cities in May, saw the nation’s hot-spots as Oxford – up by 19.2%, Bristol – up 12.3%, Coventry – up 12.0% and Leicester with an increase of 8.8%. Market leaders in terms of ‘sold’ properties recorded were Milton Keynes – up by 21.9%, Brighton – up 15.6%, Southampton – up 9.7% and Birmingham with an increase of 2.2%

Commenting on the latest Index results, Stephen Watson, Managing Director, Agency Express, said: “Having seen several months of consecutive month on month growth in the housing market for 2012, we are a little disappointed that May has not continued this positive trend. The data suggests that the abnormally wet conditions experienced right across the UK for the majority of May restricted market activity, although several major towns and cities have returned positive figures for the month despite the weather. The figures for the latter part of May since the sunshine has returned appear to have picked up again to the levels we would expect for this time of the year...and we expect activity during the double Bank Holiday Jubilee weekend to be very busy for both new listings and properties achieving sold status.”

Monthly % Changes for May 2012

% Changes for Mar - May 2012

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
May 12May 11May 12May 11
NATIONAL-5.51.7-7.20.5
Central England5.52.66.110
East Anglia-12.13.2-9.6-3.1
East Midlands-111.6-8.77
London-7.18.8-2.60
North East5.110.6-3216.7
North West-4.2-4.6-10.316.6
Scotland2-0.9-22.7-16.4
South East-18.103.7-7.4
South West-4.33.7-5.8-5.5
Wales-17-5.4-10.15
West Midlands-0.61.126.14.3
Yorks & Humber2.62.7-16.510.6
New ListingsProperties Sold
Mar -
Nov 12
Mar -
May 11
Mar -
May 12
Mar -
May 11
NATIONAL4.37.33.34.3
Central England7.65.836
East Anglia2.210.65.35.5
East Midlands2.55.25.511.7
London0.65.53.86.6
North East2.10.2-211.6
North West4.66.92.5-6.3
Scotland11.410.1-4-1.5
South East3.53.59.84.1
South West5.26.724.8
Wales1.96.35.55
West Midlands3.25.210.38.7
Yorks & Humber3.17-2.24
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