Lettings listings overtake homes for sale

Nia Williams

October 30, 2013

This is according to the latest Quarterly Property Index from Experian. The analysis, which offers an insight into the UK housing market to enable financial service providers to understand how consumers’ financial needs are changing, revealed the number of properties coming to market for sale saw a 10% increase in the last three years while the number of properties appearing for rent has increased by 42%.

The increase in properties for sale across the UK continued to be led by homes valued at over £500,000 – up 13% in Q3 2013 year on year – with every region except the North East seeing an increase in this price band.

Most of these properties were in London and the South East (33% and 20% of all high end homes listed for sale in the UK). The biggest year-on-year increase came from the West Midlands which saw the number of homes priced at £500,000 or more increase by 24% from Q3 2012 to Q3 2013.

The number of more affordable homes for sale (those priced at less than £100,000) increased at a slower rate – up 7% during the same period.

Scotland was the only area to buck the nationwide rental trend, witnessing a decline in the number of properties coming on to the rental market over the past year. It did, however, see the number of ‘for sale’ properties increase the most – up 16% – and was one of the cheapest places to buy a home in the UK with the second largest number of properties for sale under £100,000.

Jonathan Westley, managing director of consumer information services at Experian UK & Ireland, said: “Significant growth in the rental market could be a sign of the on-going struggle to get onto the home ownership ladder, but it is also consistent with the pickup in ‘buy-to-let’ activity over the past year.

“With that in mind, the continuing increase of properties for sale at the top end of the market may be driven by interest from both buy-to-let investors as well as foreign investors.

“Our analysis suggests greater choice for first-time buyers so it will be interesting to see what our data reveals in the coming months as the Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme gets going.

“As we await the impact on the property market, this insight is vital for lenders wanting to understand better the pressures or changes impacting their customers.”

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