New research from independent estate agent, haart, has found that during April, average house prices across England and Wales fell by 1.7% but rose by 1.2% on the year. The average house price now sits at £225,833.
New buyer demand for homes rose by 3.8% on the month and by 38.6% annually. The number of properties coming onto the market has risen by 5.5% on the month, and by 18% on the year. This month there are over 11 buyers chasing every property across England and Wales.
The market has become more efficient this month, as the number of transactions has risen by 8.8% on the month, as the number of viewings decreased by 8.9% on the month. This generally means that buyers are choosing to look at fewer properties before they buy.
The average purchase price for first-time buyers has fallen by 2.9% on the month and by 7.8% on the year. This comes as the number of first-time buyers registering onto the market has decreased by 3% on the month but has risen by a substantial 32.1% on the year.
The average amount paid of a deposit has fallen by 3.9% on the month and is down by 5.4% on the year.
The average property price in London has fallen by 3.7% on the month and is down by 3.4% on the year. The number of new buyers entering the market has risen by 0.9% on the month and is up by 6.8% on the year. At the same time, the number of new instructions has risen by 6.5% on the month and by 2.2% on the year. Sale transactions rose by 16% on the month, however fell by 1.4% on the year.
The number of tenants entering the market across England and Wales has risen by 3.4% on the month and by 18% on the year. The average rent has fallen by 1.7%, and by 6.2% on the year. The average rent now sits at £1,298 across the England and Wales. Demand in London has fallen by 8.7% on the month, and by 12.7% on the year. London rents have fallen by 0.9% on the month, but are up 5% on the year, with the average now sitting at £1,810.
The number of landlords registering to buy has fallen by 3.1% on the month but has risen by 2.3% on the year. In London, the number fell by 3.7% on the month and by 17.3% on the year. The number of buy-to-let sales rose by 4.8% on the month in London but are down by 10.2% across England and Wales. This is up 4.8% on the year in London, but down by 20.9% on the year across England and Wales.
Paul Smith, CEO of independent estate agent, haart, comments: “Appetite in the market continued to rally in April as the number of new buyers registering to buy rose by a further 4% on the month, bringing the annual increase to almost 40%. Whilst it is not unusual to see the market pick up at this time of the year, the number of interested buyers on our books is at its highest since April 2016, our website traffic is surpassing seasonal trends, and transaction levels have seen the biggest monthly jump since last summer, as the market gears up again.
However, the number of homes available to buy is still hovering below pre-referendum levels, despite a significant jump on last month. The UK’s undersupply of properties continues to hold back fluidity within the market, and thousands of Brits remain in homes that no longer suit their needs.
The London market is also began to warm up in April. Buyer registrations and instructions increased on the month, and first-time buyers still want to buy in the capital. But, the abundance of restrictions and additional costs heaped on landlords is certainly taking effect on the lettings market. Rental stock is down 40% on the year, which is in turn has pushed rents up by 5% on the year – far surpassing the growth of average take home pay.
The current state of the market is becoming unsustainable for many. How can the government’s housebuilding agenda maintain momentum when the person in charge is being swapped out every few months? A lack of suitable homes is one of the biggest challenges the country is currently facing, and young people deserve more consistency in the government department that is meant to be helping them achieve the home ownership status that they deserve.”