Welcome to our May Homemover Pulse where we take the pulse of the UK property market and give a snapshot of current homemover activity.
UK property market update - May
House price growth has begun to slow, although the market remains buoyant. Nationwide reported for the 11th time in the past 12 months that house price increases were in double digits. But the rate of increase is no longer soaring.
It’s encouraging to see a strong market despite the rising cost of living. On the whole, homeowners still appear to be looking for more space but are not as concerned about moving away from busy areas and are happy to return to city locations.
The current state of the owner-occupied property market
Currently, there are 188,017 residential properties available for sale and 340,125 properties with sales agreed across the country. There have also been 297,999 completions in the last three months. In the chart below, we have broken down these key stages of the home buying journey - new instructions, sale agreed and completions - by region of the UK.
As we anticipated last month, once again the South East is the region with the most new instructions, sales agreed and completions in the last three months.
Whilst Inner London still remains the only region with more new instructions than sales agreed, this gap continues to narrow indicating the lasting interest in returning to the City.
Following the sharp increase in sales agreed last month, we’re beginning to see high completion numbers as these property purchases progress.
Current new instructions
Our new instructions data covers all residential properties in the UK which are currently available for sale. There are currently 188,017 properties listed for sale across the UK.
Overall new instructions have increased by 4.63% on last month, so it’s good to see an improvement in property supply levels.
Following recent trends, the South East continues to have the highest number of houses currently available for sale, followed by Inner London and East England.
As we suggested in April’s homemover pulse, the moving season continues with modest increases in numbers of new instructions across all regions of the UK month-on-month, comparing April and May’s figures.
Yorkshire and the Humber have seen a 7.3% rise in new instructions month-on-month, making this the most active region for property supply. This is followed shortly by the West Midlands with a 7.15% month-on-month increase, and the South West with a 7.06% month-on-month increase.
Other regions with notable new instruction activity are Wales, the East Midlands and the North West, which all had over a 5% month-on-month increase in new instructions.
At the other end of the scale, available properties in outer London stayed fairly static with just a 0.56% increase in comparison with April’s figures.
Current properties with sales agreed
Our sales agreed data covers all properties in the UK which are currently at the start of the conveyancing journey and are sold subject to contract. Sale agreed figures can be seen as an indicator of present demand, showing where people are currently in the process of moving to. Currently, there are 340,125 properties across the UK with sales agreed.
Sales agreed have slowed somewhat, with just a 3.06% increase on April’s figures. With more property supply coming to market and the cost of living increases, buyers may be biding their time before making purchase decisions.
Scotland has continued to see a marked month-on-month increase of a further 6.99% in sales agreed. Northern Ireland has also seen an increase of 5.18% although the baseline figures were low to begin with, as they still have the lowest total number of sales agreed at 7,165. Inner London has also continued to improve with a 4.75% month-on-month increase in sales agreed, showing a continued interest in property in Central London.
Completions in the last three months
Our completions data covers all residential properties in the UK which have undergone contract completion in the last three months. This data set, therefore, covers all homes which have been newly purchased and moved into. In the three months to May, there have been 297,761 contract completions across the UK.
Following the marked increase in sales agreed last month, we’re now seeing a healthy increase in completions to follow. Total completions have increased by 12.95% when compared with the previous figures.
The regions which have seen the most completions in the last three months are the South East, East of England and the North West. Areas of movement with markedly more completions compared to the previous period are the East Midlands, North East and South West.
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