February sees 20% more sellers listing their homes

Michael Lloyd

March 8, 2018

The property market saw a 20% increase in sellers listing their properties last month, following a 40% boost in new supply in January.

The Property Supply Index from online estate agents HouseSimple, showed that total new estate agent listings rose from 56,041 in January to 67,182 last month. However, the number of new sellers coming onto the market was just 2.5% higher year-on-year.

Sam Mitchell, chief executive of HouseSimple, said: “It’s encouraging to see that a healthy January in terms of replenishing stock levels has been followed by a strong February. However, before we crack open the champagne, we do need to put this increase into perspective.

“The number of new sellers marketing last month was actually only 2.5% higher than the corresponding month in 2017.  This suggests that rather than a sudden rush of sellers, that we have simply seen normal seller numbers in January and February after an extremely slow December.

“The cold hard facts are that the property market is still in dire need of more stock, but at least stock levels are going in the right direction and sellers should hopefully be encouraged by signs that buyers are showing more intent to make offers.”

More than nine out of 10 (93%) towns and cities saw an increase in new sellers in February compared to January, with Dundee at the top of the pile – with an 82.2% rise in new listings.

Edinburgh saw a 75.9% increase in supply in February compared to January, while new listings were up 53.3% in Glasgow last month.

Other towns that saw a substantial rise in new sellers in February were Hereford (80.3%), Bath (70.9%) and Rotherham (67.1%).

At the other end of the table, new property supply dropped off 16.4% in Rugby, making the Warwickshire town the area that experienced the most significant downturn in property supply in February.

Stevenage (down 14.5%) and Oldham (down 12.2%) also saw a drop off in property supply last month.

In London, new property listings were up (from 24,004 in January to 27,573 in February), but slightly below the UK average, with property supply rising by 14.9% last month.

Barking & Dagenham (32.5%), Lambeth (29.8%) and the City of Westminster (24.2%) saw the largest rises in new sellers in February compared to January.

Mitchell added: “The next couple of months, as we enter the Spring period, will be crucial to maintain momentum, and especially this year as Brexit rhetoric ramps up.

“The market has proved robust enough to deflect Brexit concerns so far, but a slow Spring could leave the market vulnerable if the UK economy begins to stutter.”

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