12 Jan 2023
Revealed! The UK’s fastest and slowest property completion areas
Homes in Birmingham and East London are among the slowest in the UK to sell from listing to completion, analysis suggests.
Property data firm MoveSmart, created by home-buying service Spring, used figures from Government sources including the Land Registry and statistical technology firm Propalt to find the time from listing to completion ranges from 15 weeks to as much as 48 weeks.From the day of listing, the average home in Birmingham City centre took 48 weeks to completion, while in Summerfield Park in Birmingham, the average time was 35 weeks to completion.
The average home in Clapton, East London took 40 weeks from the day of listing to completion, according to the research.Even in the fastest locations, time from listing to completion is between three to four months.The fastest areas include Formby in Liverpool, where it took 15 weeks for a sale to complete, while Dinckley in Blackburn and Swanage in Bournemouth both registered average completion times of 16 weeks.
Cormac Henderson, chief executive of Spring, said: “Historically, sales in major cities like Birmingham and London have been reasonably fast to transact, however, with less and less people wanting to live in dense urban areas due to new lifestyle choices, ongoing demand for flexible working and greater demand for outside space, it isn’t surprising to see the slowdown.“However, we must also remember that conveyancing demand in these areas is likely to be more concentrated, which will play a part in the overall completion time.“It is fascinating to see that Swanage in Bournemouth and Formby in Liverpool are at the top of the table for places where homes are completing the fastest. This may signal that more people are looking to relocate nearer the coast, creating hotspots in coastal towns as people seek to make the most of not needing to be in the office full time or at all.
3 Jan 2023
Start of the slowdown? Land Registry records monthly house price drop
New Land Registry data is set to kick-off the debate about whether house prices have started to fall.Plenty of commentators are expecting house price drops ranging from 10% to 30% and now official figures show property values fell for the first time last year between October and November 2022.The Land Registry House Price Index shows property values fell 0.3% on a monthly basis to £294,910.
Annual growth also slowed from 12.4% to 9.8%.House price annual growth was strongest in the North West where prices increased by 13.5% in the year to November 2022, according to the figures.The lowest annual growth was in Scotland, where prices increased by 5.5% annually.
London was the English region with the lowest annual growth, where prices increased by 6.3% in the 12 months to November 2022.It is the first monthly decline for 13 months.
However, the figures mainly reflect what was happening in the quieter period between September's disastrous mini-Budget and the lead up to Christmas.“On the ground, since our return to work nearly three weeks ago, we have noticed the release of some pent-up demand now mortgage rates have begun to fall.“Activity has been supported by gloomy predictions for prices in the media, which has reduced buyer and seller expectations and resulted in agreed sales at more realistic levels.”However, Charlotte Nixon, mortgage expert at Quilter, said the UK must brace for further house price drops as increased energy bills will still cause financial strain for millions in the upcoming months.She said: “As a result, many might be more hesitant to move and incur all the expense that comes with it.“The Financial Conduct Authority estimates that 750,000 people are at risk of defaulting on their mortgage and these people may be looking to sell up to release equity in their home and avoid getting into financial difficulty.
“This could lead to an increase in housing stock when demand is depressed, causing house prices to drop lower.”There are more positive signs in the mortgage market though with lower inflation meaning interest rates may stabilise, Nixon said.She added: “Lower inflation should mean interest rates stabilise and even start to drop with mortgage rates following suit. This could result in mortgage rates dropping to 4% by the end of the year as the new norm, and potentially even lower in the future.“Additionally, as the housing market cools, lenders may have to compete more for business, leading to lower mortgage deals for customers.“This new market environment may make certain mortgage products, such as tracker mortgages, a more attractive option for short or medium-term buyers. Although a drop in house prices might come as bad news for homeowners it, this change in direction might be relatively short lived and as the economy improves, it is likely that the demand for housing will continue to outpace supply, driving up house prices in the long term.”Nathan Emerson, chief executive of agency trade body Propertymark, said: “In November, our agents reported a market that was on the cusp of seeing purchasing power handed back to buyers which was a trend we hadn’t seen in months.“Interestingly, estate agents in London are reporting buyers agreeing sales at under the asking price, however agents in the North West are seeing properties sell for asking price very quickly after being marketed, sometimes in a matter of days. Buyers are looking for more affordable properties, if sellers are realistic with their pricing, there are plenty of serious buyers out there that will move quickly.”
2 Jan 2023
Millions of homes lost value last year - Zoopla
One million homes have lost all their pandemic gains amid the financial turmoil at the end of last year, Zoopla claims.
Each month, the portal tracks the value of the UK’s 30m homes and while 92% of homeowners saw their property increase in value last year due to low supply and high demand, values declined during the final months as rising living costs and a spike in mortgage rates following the mini-Budget hit buyer interest.Looking at price gains achieved over the first two years of the pandemic to February 2022, and then how values have performed in the last six months, Zoopla data shows one million homes have lost all their pandemic gains.
Almost half of these are homes in parts of London, with 20% of those in East Central London and 14% in West London losing all paper gains as well as in Scotland with 14% in Aberdeenshire losing their value.Looking across the year, 12 out of 13 homeowners saw the value of their home increase by an average of £19,000, with almost 3m making more than £50,000.The total value of UK housing breached the £10 trillion mark early in 2022, according to Zoopla, and reached £10.5 trillion by the end of 2022.This is an increase of £700bn over the year, or nearly £80m added to the value of the nation’s housing every hour on average over 2022.
Not everyone’s home gained in value over 2022 however, with some 2.3m homes registering a fall in value with an average loss of £7,300, Zoopla said.Homeowners in London accounted for 26% of properties registering a decline.Almost 16m homes have lost an average of £3,900 in value in the final quarter of 2022, according to the research.
The reduction in home values over the second half of 2022 was concentrated in markets where price gains have been slower over the last year.Homeowners in London have seen the largest number of reductions in home values followed by the South East, Zoopla claims.Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said: “UK homeowners made record gains in the value of their homes over the pandemic years as the nation re-evaluated what we wanted from our homes.“These gains have started to be eroded in the final half of 2022 as buyer demand weakened in the face of higher mortgage rates and weaker growth in household incomes.”“The profile of gains and losses varies right across the country, knocking any notion of a single market that moves in unison across the country.“Housing markets vary by geography and price band.
The value of a home is important in unlocking that next home moving decision. While the headlines might talk of UK house price falls in 2023 each home will have its own trajectory so speaking to an agent or tracking your home value online are ways households can stay in touch with the value of their largest asset."
1 Jan 2023
Media blamed for ‘stifling market sentiment’
Industry leaders have hit out at the media for “stifling sentiment” as they urge agents to help vendors make an informed decision based on their own local data and knowledge.It comes as executives from across the property sector gathered in November 2022 discuss challenges facing the housing market.
The panel included former Foxtons chief executive and current board member Peter Rollings, Agents Together chief executive Sarah Edmundson, Matt Giggs of the Giggs Group, former eMoov boss-turned-PR and property pundit Russell Quirk, chief executive of The Guild of Property Professionals Iain McKenzie, Adam Day, UK lead at eXp, Gemma Noonan, operations director at the Giggs Group and Mark Burgess, chief executive of Iceberg Digital
They covered a range of subjects that have been split into separate videos to be released over the next 10 days.The first video covers the issue of if now is the right time to sell a property.Describing himself as a “token optimist,” Quirk said he doesn’t buy into “media negativity and sensationalism,” and said people should take a long-term view rather than worrying about a “little wobble” in prices.McKenzie agreed and blamed the media for “stifling sentiment” and “sucking confidence out of the market.”He said agents should allow clients to make an informed decision using relevant data and suggested buyers and sellers should focus on price differentials on where they are moving to rather than price drops.
Quirk said he didn’t believe there will be massive interest rate rises and said people were questioning if it is worth selling now or waiting two or three months for “green shoots” to start coming back.Industry mentor Giggs said he believed it would be longer than that and said he has already seen vendors and agents struggling to sell even after repricing their listings.He suggested some agents have become too reliant on Rightmove to sell the property for them and said better training was needed.Giggs added: “You don’t make more sales by pushing people to make a decision that doesn’t suit their needs.”
Edmundson said agents should become a trusted adviser, adding: “The industry needs to get better at saying why are you moving, listen to the client and then give the right advice.“Rather than everyone should buy now, actually that may not be the right advice.“Ask the right questions and listen to people.”