Homemovers are bored of Brexit and are getting on with it

Michael Lloyd

July 17, 2019

Positive activity in the housing market indicates that consumers are bored of Brexit and just want to get on with their moving plans, the TwentyCi Property & Homemover Report for Q2 2019 has found.

This was shown by a 6% rise in property exchange volumes year-on-year to reach 992,000 in Q2.

There was also a small 2% uplift in new properties coming onto the market,signalling some homeowners are choosing to get on with moving house rather than considering Brexit a sufficient reason to delay any longer.

Colin Bradshaw, chief customer officer, TwentyCi, said: “It’s worth keeping in mind that consistent to our previous reporting, the current political climate has brought about an overall slower moving market; one which requires careful monitoring over the next few months.

“The overall picture is encouraging however, with signs of growth maintained for the three months to the end of June. Consumer confidence may yet to have fully made a return but there are indications of recovery.”

Meanwhile some sellers are showing signs of frustration indicated by 895,000 properties withdrawn from the market over the last 12 months – often temporarily to change agent, rather than putting a move on hold.

Beyond the East and West Midlands, the main growth in average asking prices is limited to the North of the UK, specifically, the North East and Scotland (4% and 2% respectively).

This North-South divide seemingly reflects the increased availability of property and broadly greater affordability, in Northern areas of the country where there is less demand for housing compared to reduced housing supply in the South where there is conversely more requirement for housing.

The UK’s top 10 cities all show an increase in average asking prices year on year, up to 4%, apart from Peterborough where prices fell by 2% year-on-year. Generally, the market is more subdued in the South.

A combination of more new instructions and greater volumes of these properties exchanging is generating more market confidence in these cities, so sellers are typically achieving higher asking prices.

Households comprising those from low income bands across the £15,000-£39,900 brackets are proportionally buying more properties – very likely to be helped by government schemes such as Help to Buy.

This is indicated by a 22% growth in exchanges with a household income of £15,000-£19,900, a 18% rise for households with a £30,000-£39.9,000 income, while exchangers in the ‘squeezed middle’ with a household income of £50,000-£59,900 fell by 11%.

Equally, with more properties exchanging from lower income household bands, homes valued at £300,000 and below performed best in Q2 2019, with exchange growth year-on-year ranging from 8-14%, except for the small number of properties worth less than £50,000, which fell by 53%.

There was also further growth in exchanges at the top of the market with properties worth £1-2m growing by 9%, £2-5m properties by 5% and £5m properties by 7% – although this growth was much lower than in Q1 2019.

As with Q1 2019, semi-detached and detached houses saw the greatest growth with 9% and 7% rises respectively in Q2.

In Q2, overall rental availability is significant in the top 10 UK cities, with the exception being the London market where rental dominates due to the high price of property.

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