UK sees a slower property market in May

The UK property market remains steady in light of recent reports of lower mortgage approvals and the launch of the Mortgage Market Review.  The latest statistics from the British Banker’s Association shows that the overall value of mortgage borrowing continues to increase; reaching a six year high, but the number of mortgage approvals has fallen to a three month low.  When reviewing  the 3 month period,  national data recorded by the Agency Express Property Activity Index  indicates that figures are not yet heavily impacted by the MMR and that properties ‘Sold’ nationally have marginally decreased by -0.20%.   

While the outcome of fewer mortgage approvals and the MMR process may take a few months to show full effect on the market, the latest month on month figures from Property Activity Index remain stable. Regional month on month data recorded by index highlights London as a top performer, reporting a vigorous +28.40% increase in new listings ‘For Sale’ and a +2.20% increase in properties ‘Sold’. However over a three month average properties ‘Sold’ declined by -4.20% which could be reflective of inflated prices and the low uptake in the ‘Help to Buy‘ incentive within the capital, reported at only  0.6%. 

Looking at performance across the rest of the UK, a further five regions recorded by the Property Activity Index report increases in properties ‘Sold’. Prominent performer Central England records their best figures for properties ‘Sold’ in May since the Property Activity Index’s first records in 2007; rising by +18.50%. The East Midlands rose by +7.90%, London by +2.20%, Scotland by +0.80% and the South West by +8.60%. Whereas this month’s largest declines were made by the South East recording their first drop in four consecutive months; falling by -4.60% on properties ‘Sold’ and by -3.40% in new listings ‘For Sale’.

Agency Express Comments

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

In recent weeks there have been reports and articles indicating that the UK property market may be slowing down. Looking at the Property Activity Index’s rolling three monthly data, six of the twelve regions recorded have made declines in properties ‘Sold’, but it is also important to state that these figures are still dramatically up on figures recorded in 2013 and  that on a national scale only a -0.20% decline was made. Moving forwards in to the next three months it will be interesting to see if these figures dramatically change as an effect or more people face stringent financial questioning and firmer regulations on lending enforced by the MMR.

Monthly % Changes for May 2014

% Changes for Mar - May 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
May 14May 13May 14May 13
NATIONAL0-1.3-0.92.1
Central England0.6-2.418.51.8
East Anglia-3-3.7-3.9-4.2
East Midlands7.712.37.920.8
London28.42.52.2-2.4
North East-9.91.8-119.1
North West-11.20-15.59.6
Scotland100.10.88.6
South East-3.4-3.2-4.69.3
South West11.7-2.68.67.8
Wales-6.27.3-1-23
West Midlands-17.7-4.2-1.21.3
Yorks & Humber-1.4-6.7-3-0.6
New ListingsProperties Sold
Mar -
Aug 14
Mar -
May 13
Mar -
May 14
Mar -
May 13
NATIONAL3.84.3-0.26.4
Central England-3.1-2.8-3.13.2
East Anglia0.85.1-2.95.5
East Midlands5.48.71.414.5
London7.74.5-4.25.7
North East-5.94-1.57.4
North West8.71.62.210.5
Scotland4.68.13.310.8
South East2.22.7-0.96
South West34.8-0.79.5
Wales4.75.56.4-9
West Midlands13.22.34.3
Yorks & Humber8.74.95.66.3
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