Property exchanges are up and levels of growth are showing – here’s all you need to know about Q1.

TwentyCi recently published their Property & Homemover Report for Q1 2018, which, comprised of a wide range of sources, details a thorough review of the state of the UK market and covers almost 100% of property movements in the UK so far this year.

We’d like to share a few of their key findings over the past few months for your information. If you would like to download and read the full report here it is.

Confidence is building

Nationally, property exchanges are up nearly 8% compared to Q1 2017.
This suggests a continued building of confidence, stability, and momentum in the market with less political and economic turbulence. It should be noted however that while we are beginning to get a clearer picture on the UK’s future outside the EU, there’ll be many more twists and turns before we fully understand the post-Brexit landscape.

Following the usual Q4 slowdown, Q1 has seen 100,000 more properties come on to the market. However, year on year we’ve only seen a 1% increase in listings, implying conversion rates have increased. The average house price remains unchanged at £297k, yet both supply and demand are still below the levels seen before the financial crisis of 2008.

London is changing

Within inner London, asking prices are down 4% year on year, but the number of
exchanges are up 8% in the same period. Prices are probably subdued by the pathway to Brexit and the international makeup of the market. West London achieved the highest average asking price in Q1, although prices in this area are down 4% year on year and the London market in general remains subdued. The sharpest decline was in the WC area, with prices down 6% compared to Q4 2017 and 8% year on year.

If you’re looking to buy in London and in Fulham in particular, then you need to register with Invisible Homes.

Year on year, all areas of London experienced a growth in the proportion of rental listings, with the exception of the WC postcode. North London was the hottest area for rentals, with a rise of 12%.

Smaller homes are on the rise

Over half of all exchanges in Q1 were made on terraced and semi-detached
houses, up 17% year on year. Nearly 1 in 5 exchanges were represented by a flat, up 10% year on year, reflecting the change in the composition of our housing stock. The demand for more affordable homes is well-documented. There are many supply-side considerations at play here, but it is clear that the demand for flats and apartments in cities and large towns is on the rise. For semi-detached properties, it’s the demographic that’s starting to shift, with a significant influx of buyers aged 66 and over.

Baby boomers are on the move

The Silver Economy is still showing good levels of growth year on year, with 46% more property exchanges in Q1 2018 compared to Q1 2017. The active growth in the
property market for the 55+ age groups is undoubtedly fuelled by a combination of pension drawdown and equity retrieval as the baby boom generation accesses the wealth accumulated in their properties and pensions, whether this is to join the buy-to-let economy or give their children a leg-up onto the property ladder. In response to this growing market, specialist estate agents are starting to spring up, including Homewise,who advertise properties for sale specifically for the over 60s.

Commuting can be cost-effective

With major improvements and changes being made to our transport infrastructure, the commuting landscape is set to evolve significantly. Schemes including the ending of the Severn Bridge toll, the opening of Crossrail, the electrification of the East Coast Main Line and the development of HS2, will open up whole swathes of the country to commuters. This increase in geographical mobility will create new property hotspots, delivering economic benefits to areas previously outside commuting range.

One possible solution to the housing crisis is to rethink where new homes are built. Rather than simply tacking them onto the outskirts of existing towns and cities, a return to creating new towns like Milton Keynes might offer more efficient and cost-effective

Information is sourced from and accredited to TwentyCi Property & Homemover Report: Q1 2018.

Data is based on Q1 2018 versus Q4 2017 or Q1 2017 for year-on-year comparisons unless otherwise stated. Analysis of property buyers is based on demographic overlay data versus individual property-based data triggers.