UK Property Demand is Up by 9%

UK Property Demand is Up by 9%

New reports from Rightmove have shown signs of a busy 2018 for the UK as it looks like many people are looking to move home this year.

The latest figures from the online property portal have shown a huge rise in the number of people looking for a new home. While an increase in activity is expected each January, since the beginning of 2018, the website has seen an even further increase of 9% in comparison to January of 2016.

This has resulted in more than 4 million visits to the website per day, indicating a huge surge in people looking for their next move.

While the number of online visitors has grown substantially, the number of sales agreed took a fall towards the tail end of 2017, dropping by 5.5% in Q4. This could mean that buyers are becoming slightly pickier when it comes to purchasing a property.

Rightmove Director, Miles Shipside offered his comments on the recent figures, saying, “Considering some of the gales that buffeted the market in the latter part of 2017, these early readings for 2018 show that there is currently a good following wind of search activity

“To keep this year’s initial buyer momentum with you rather than against, serious sellers should note that all regions are currently selling at a slower rate than a year ago, indicating choosier buyers.”

The price of homes has also seen a slight jump in January of 2018, with most homes seeing a 0.7% or £2,067 jump in value last month on average.

As expected the type of home to see that largest rise in value this year so far are those suitable for first-time buyers and exempt from stamp duty charges. Homes with 2 bedrooms or less rose in value by 1.1% in January alone, while homes more suited for second-steppers saw an increase in value of 0.4%

Unfortunately, for buyers, the number of homes available for sale has not changed at all, as the average number of properties per estate agency branch has hovered at 42 since the same time last year.

Some property experts suggest that the lack of supply could create competition between buyers, especially those taking their first step onto the property ladder, meaning the money saved due to the removal of stamp duty land tax could just end up being spent elsewhere.

This is a sentiment shared by the Director of Mortgage Advice Bureau, Andy Frankish, who commented, “the ongoing lack of stock in popular areas will possibly lead to the potential for prices to galvanise where there isn’t enough stock once the market gets into it’s full stride within the next few weeks. Whether that will be further fuelled by competition between first-time buyers remains to be seen, and it would be shame if the savings that they were able to make in SDLT were instead eaten up by having to pay an increased price to get on the ladder, which probably wasn’t what the Chancellor had in mind.”