About the Index
The eMoov Hotspots Index looks at where across the UK is currently seeing the largest and lowest spikes in property demand, as well as the biggest fluctuations since the previous quarter. The current demand level attributed to an area indicates the level of buyer demand in that area at present. It does not always correspond directly with the largest changes in demand on the previous quarter as often the hottest areas, for example, will have maintained a consistent level of buyer demand for some time and will have shown little fluctuation. However, a prolonged period of high buyer demand can lead to an inflation in property values and often a reduction in buyer demand will follow.
The index looks at the balance between the supply and demand for housing stock in a given area and attributes a percentage score based on the level of stock available on the major property portals, to that which has already sold.
Areas of Focus:
• The 150 Most Populated UK Towns & Cities
• London Breakdown
First Look For 2017
Property demand across the UK is currently 33.80% having dropped -17.56% since the end of 2016. Across England’s 48 counties property demand is at its highest in the UK at 39.34%, with Scotland also higher than the UK average at 36.18% and Wales marginally lower than the UK average at 27.35%.
A tough year for the UK market due to a contribution of Brexit uncertainty and a hike in second home stamp duty tax has seen buyer demand fall off during the start of 2017. Despite this reduction, the market has continued to tick over with prices, for the large part, continuing their upward trend.Russell Quirk
The 150 Most Populated UK Towns & Cities
eMoov’s National Hotspots Index looks at property demand across the UK’s 150 most populated towns and cities to ascertain where the highest levels of buyer demand are, based on the balance of property stock levels listed in each city.
Current Buyer Demand
The highest levels of buyer demand across these 150 cities and towns for 2017 is found in Rugby (68.29%), Portsmouth (66.70%) and the City of Bristol (64.43%) The City of Aberdeen (14.11%) again takes the wooden spoon for lowest demand with Hartlepool (15.43%) and Middlesbrough (19.15%) also seeing low levels of interest.
Biggest Changes Since Q4, 2016
Stoke-on-Trent (+82.25%), Stockton-On-Tees (+77.75%) and Walsall (+65.09%) have all seen the largest increases in buyer demand in 2017. However, the popularity seen last year across London’s commuter hubs seems to have subsided as Guildford (-35.84%), Watford (-35.73%), Cambridge (-29.74%), Reading (-27.17%) and Brentwood (-26.93%) all see the largest drops in property demand this year so far.
With many of the UK’s major cities becoming too expensive for homeowners in the region and travel infrastructure improvements allowing us to live further away from work, it is no surprise that places such as Rugby and Portsmouth have grown in prominence amongst UK buyers. It isn’t just those in London that are looking outside of the larger city boundaries and opting for more affordable towns in the surrounding area.Russell Quirk
At 32.31% buyer demand across the capital has clearly been dampened, falling -5% heading into 2017. A tough year for the capital coupled with a continued level of Brexit uncertainty leaving many buyers and sellers on the fence, means London places just 121st out of the 150 towns and cities for buyer demand.
Hottest in London
Across London’s 32 boroughs it is Bexley once again that retains the top spot as hottest borough for buyer demand at 56.13%. The borough has remained one of the strongest where interest from aspirational buyers is concerned, largely due to its peripheral location, more affordable house price and abundance of second and third rung property types. The Olympic regeneration of Newham continues to draw buyers to the borough with demand at 51.82%, with Havering (50.51%) the third most in demand borough across the capital.
Biggest Increases Since Q4, 2016
Newham’s new found popularity is clear as it is just one of two London boroughs to not have seen demand drop over the course of 2017. Since Q4 2016, the borough has seen buyer demand increase by a further +26.40%, joined by Harrow where demand has also increased (+7.17%).
Biggest Drops Since Q4, 2016
The worst decreases are in the boroughs of Greenwich (-60.83%), Lambeth (-57.62%) and Hounslow (-52.69%).
Prime Central London
Nowhere across London has been worst impacted by the changes to second home stamp duty tax and the Brexit vote than the capital’s most prestigious boroughs. Property demand in prime central London has been in decline for quite some time as the market adjusts to the heightened level of price inflation witnessed over the last few years.
Lowest Current Buyer Demand
The City of Westminster is home to the lowest level of London buyer demand at 10.14%, with Kensington and Chelsea (11.49%) and Hammersmith and Fulham (13.15%) also propping up the table for lowest London buyer demand. Since the end of 2016 demand has fallen in all three of these boroughs by -36.64%, -28.16% and -40.24% respectively.
London, as it usually does, will remain impervious to any lasting impact where the Brexit vote and further market uncertainty is concerned. There is an unquenchable thirst for London homeownership and the variety of property that the different boroughs offer, so it is likely the market will shrug off any trepidation seen at the start of this year. Prime central London, on the other hand, may see a price adjustment over the coming year as buyer demand continues to stall and homeowners adjust the asking price of their property to account for the state of the current market.Russell Quirk
Across England the hottest county for property demand for Q1 of 2017 was Northamptonshire at 56.20%, closely followed by Bristol (54.23%) and Suffolk (52.25%). Despite Bristol’s continued popularity, demand has fallen by -12.93% during the start of 2017, indicating that prices have inflated as a result of strong buyer interest.
However, where demand increase is concerned Northumberland tops the list having seen an increase of +106.78% in buyer demand when compared to the end of 2016. Shropshire (+46.14%) Tyne and Wear (+36.48%) and County Durham (+18.42%) have all also seen a strong uplift during 2017. Despite the promising increase in demand, County Durham is still one of the coldest counties for buyer demand in England (22.75%) second only to the City of London (15.78%). The Isle of Wight (24.77%) rank as the third lowest county for property demand. Both Somerset (-2.72%) and Wiltshire (-7.00%) have seen the largest decreases of all counties in England.
Many areas of England have retained high levels of buyer demand over the start of 2017 with the London commuter hubs such as Bedfordshire and Essex benefitting from an overheated London market. Bristol has remained one of the hottest areas for property demand outside of London for quite some time now but the Midlands and the East of England also seem to be growing in popularity with the likes of Suffolk and Northamptonshire seeing a strong start to the year.”
Across Scotland, the highest levels of current buyer demand have been located in South Ayrshire (67.18%), Edinburgh (56.47%) and Glasgow (56.42%). Despite the country seeing pockets of strong demand Aberdeenshire (11.47%) and the City of Aberdeen (14.11%) continue to see buyer demand frozen with both home to the lowest levels across Scotland.
The biggest increases in demand are in Highland (+66.59%), South Lanarkshire (+47.69%) and Fife (+40.47%). Although demand is still low in Aberdeenshire, the area has seen an increase of +21.46% since the end of 2016. The biggest declines in buyer demand since 2016 are Moray (-22.54%), Argyle and Bute (-14.20%) and Stirling (-6.33%).
Scotland has had a turbulent time due to the back and forth debate about its future as an independent nation. As a result, both buyer demand and property values have been unpredictable, to say the least, although the nation’s major cities seem to be holding their own. However, the plight of Aberdeen’s homeowners has been a result of the declining oil industry in the region and the area has been one of the coldest in the UK for property demand for quite some time now.
Wales has been arguably the market worst hit for buyer demand over the last year and with the lowest average demand across the UK, the nation seems to be still recovering from the market slump. The regions of Caerphilly (47.12%), Newport (46.92%) and Cardiff (42.89%) rank as the top three hottest areas for property demand at present. But Cardiff’s popularity amongst Welsh buyers means the capital has seen some of the lowest upward growth in buyer demand, having increased by just +4.15% so far in 2017, whilst Rhondda Cynon Taf (+31.57%) and Swansea (+28.29%) have seen the largest increases in buyer demand this year.
The Ceredigion (15.75%), Pembrokeshire (15.54%) and Denbighshire (13.36%) regions are home to the lowest demand in Wales, although it is important to note that there are areas across both London and Scotland with lower buyer demand levels. The biggest falls in demand in Wales are Bridgend (-13.47%), Monmouthshire (-9.63%) and Neath Port Talbot (-3.22%).
A particularly tough year for the market in Wales due to the uncertainty surrounding the Tata steelworks and a declining economy. The nation is due to be worst hit by the Brexit process so it would seem the dark clouds surrounding the Welsh property market will be staying put for the foreseeable future, despite promising signs in pockets at the start of this year.Russell Quirk