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Rental market booming with fewer homes to buy

Robyn Hall

August 13, 2013

There was a 2.3% increase in number of fresh sellers nationwide in Q2 2013.

The analysis, which offers an insight into the UK housing market to enable lenders to understand how consumers’ financial needs are changing, showed that homes falling into the more affordable price brackets, however, fell with 0.4% fewer properties for sale under £250,000.

In contrast, there were significant increases at the higher end of the sales market with properties marketed between £250,001-£500,000 and £500,001 or more – up 4% and 14%.

Properties priced under £100,000 and £100,001-£250,000 in the North West fell by 9.9% and 8.3% respectively. The region saw the biggest fall in overall properties for sale, down 6.8% but saw its rental market thrive as 7.8% more homes for rent appeared on the market.

After London, the North West stood out as the region to see the biggest retraction in affordable houses for sale in Q2 2013, compared to the same quarter in 2012, despite being the cheapest region to buy a property in the country and boasting more properties valued at under £100,000 on the market than any other region.

Jonathan Westley, managing director of consumer information services at Experian UK and Ireland, said: “Some lenders and estate agents are reporting improvement in the housing market, with the Council of Mortgage Lenders data showing confidence and activity growing strongly at the bottom of the property ladder.

“Our latest figures do, however, show that this trend is not being seen across the whole of the UK. In some regions, the housing market remains challenging for first time buyers, particularly in London, which is constraining activity levels for lower value properties and keeping a lid on prices in many areas. This is reflected in the surge in rental properties on the market.

“This insight into the changing face of the UK’s property market is essential for any financial services, utility or insurance company in order to truly understand the impact on credit strategies.”

Location, location, location

Scotland saw the highest number of properties being put up for sale during Q2 – up 10.5% and led mainly by properties marketed as £250,001-£500,000. This was followed closely by Yorkshire (up 9.5%) where more properties priced at under £100,000 appeared for sale and the East Midlands (up 9.3%) where the biggest increase was at the highest end – more than £500,001.

The rental market boom was led by London, which saw a 26.4% increase in properties being rented out to consumers in Q2 2013 compared to Q2 2012. In stark contrast, the number of homes being listed for resale in the capital during the same time frame only increased by 2.0%.

Wales and the East of England were the only areas in the UK to see a fall in the number of properties being listed for rent year-on-year – down 0.08% and 3.2% respectively.

Property type

Detached houses are the most frequent house type listed for sale across the UK, with a total of 55,711 detached properties for sale in the second quarter of 2013 compared to 52,165 in the same period last year, an increase of 6.8%. Three bedroom houses were the most common size of home on the resale market, accounting for 38.5% of all new listings.

In the rental market, flats were by far the most popular property type to rent, accounting for 46.9% of all rental properties in Q2 2013, two fifths of which can be found in London; 74% of properties on the capital’s rental market are listed as apartments. However, terraced houses saw the biggest increase nationwide from Q2 2012 to Q2 2013, up by 16.2%.


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