National Demand

We’ve just released our fourth and final property demand Hotspots Index for 2016, looking at property demand across the capital’s 32 boroughs.

The index attributes a percentage score for each area based on the level of stock available on the major property portals, to that which has already sold, before calculating the total change between indices.

The research shows that over 2016 demand across the capital has dropped by -23%, now at just 34% on average.

What’s more, just two London boroughs have seen an increase in property demand, with the rest all dropping over the course of the year.

Top 10 Hottest for Current Demand

Bexley (65%) drops to third from its usual top spot, toppled by Solihull (77%) and Portsmouth (67%). Demand is also 65% in Bristol with Northampton (60%), Medway (59%), Gloucester (58%), Ipswich (58%), Bedford and Edinburgh (57%) completing the top 10 highest demand at present.

Biggest Annual Demand Increases

However, it is where demand has increased the greatest over 2016 that provides the most peculiar coincidence, with nine of the top 10 all beginning with the same letter. With the London market slowing due to a combination of second home stamp duty tax and a lack of foreign interest post-Brexit, it is the Midlands and northern regions that have benefitted from the greatest increase in property demand. With six out of the top 10 biggest increase located here, it would seem the engines of the Northern Property Powerhouse are being stoked by UK buyers and the more affordable price of property could see it steam ahead moving into 2017.

Stockport in North West has seen the largest demand increase, up +126% in 2016, with Stoke-on-Trent (+112%) in the West Midlands and London’s only entry in Sutton (+110%) also enjoying triple digit demand growth. Demand is Sheffield has increased by +99% in the last year, with Sandwell (+83%) and Solihull (+79%) also representing the West Midlands in the top 10. Swindon in 7th (+74%) and Somerset in 8th (+65%) sandwich Bradford (+67%) as the only representatives from the South West, with Southampton (+63%) the only entry from the South East.

Outside of the top 10, Highland, Gateshead, Salford, Manchester and Hull also saw demand increase by more than 50% over the last year.

Largest Annual Demand Drops

The biggest decreases where demand is concerned were seen in Sunderland (-63%), Swansea (-57%), Hounslow (-51%), Lambeth (-46%), Camden (-45%), Southwark (-43%), Shropshire (-42%), South Lanarkshire (-42%), Westminster and Aylesbury (-39%).

A tough year for the UK market but it has come through it relatively unscathed.

Although changes to second home stamp duty thresholds and the Leave vote may have tainted demand slightly due to an air of uncertainty, there seem to be a number of areas that have benefited with the market almost turned on its head in terms of desirability to buyers.

2016 seems to have been a bit of a leveller where the property market is concerned, with many of the so called “weaker” markets really seeing a spike in buyer demand, which will in turn result in a healthy increase in prices going into the New Year.

Worrying for homeowners in the likes of Aylesbury, Hounslow and Camden though. These areas were ranking consistently quite highly where demand is concerned, but this seems to have dropped off considerably during Q4 and homeowners and sellers in particular could receive a lump of coal this Christmas when it comes to the price of their property.

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, eMoov.co.uk

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