Our hotspots index is the longest running index of its kind, based on property demand levels, rather than house price growth. The index looks at demand for property across the UK, based on the balance of stock listed for sale on all of the major property portals compared to the stock that has already been sold. In short, the areas that have the largest number of properties sold compared to those for sale are the most in demand amongst UK buyers.
The latest and last index for 2017, shows that property demand in the UK is currently at 34%, down 6% after a tough year for UK property. While the market has remained resolute with prices up by 3.8% in 2017 so far, Britain’s exit from the EU and a chaotic snap election has resulted in many UK buyers choosing to sit on the fence with regard to their property sale.
Hottest Towns and Cities
Top 10 Most In-Demand UK Towns and Cities
The most in-demand town/city for property at present is Solihull at 65%, with Rugby (63%), Bristol (63%), Eastleigh (61%), Warwick (59%), Portsmouth (59%), Bromsgrove (58%), Kettering (58%), Kidderminster (58%) and Woking (57%) all also placing in the top 10 for highest current demand levels.
Rochdale (+56%) and Stoke-on-Trent (+53%) have seen the largest increase over the course of the year, while Aberdeen (-41%) and Shrewsbury (-36%) have seen the biggest drop.
A tough year for the London market has seen demand fall by 25% since the start of the year, now at 24% overall.
Hottest Boroughs and Biggest Demand Increases
Bexley (49%), Havering (46%), Barking and Dagenham (46%), Hillingdon (46%) and Sutton (45%) are the boroughs with the highest demand amongst buyers.
Greenwich has enjoyed the largest increase over the last year up 27%, joined by Redbridge (+7%), Barking and Dagenham and Hillingdon (+1%) the only other boroughs to have seen an increase since the start of the year.
Coldest Boroughs and Biggest Demand Decreases
Westminster, Lambeth and Kensington and Chelsea are the least in demand boroughs at present with demand at just 9%.
After seeing a huge uplift in demand post-Olympics, Newham has seen the largest drop in buyer demand in 2017, down -55%, joined by Lambeth (-45%) and Islington (-33%).
Across England, demand is currently at 38%, down 6% over the course of the year.
Bristol leads the way with 63% buyer demand, with Northamptonshire (51%) and Suffolk (50%) also seeing strong levels of buyer demand. Oxfordshire is still paying the price of its high property price tag with the lowest current demand at 13%, joined by County Durham continuing a poor run of form over the last year at 18%.
Oxfordshire has also seen the largest decrease since the start of the year, down -64%, while Hampshire has seen the largest uplift in buyer interest up 45% this year.
Across Scotland, buyer demand is currently at 34%, down 6% since the start of the year.
The Scottish capital tops the table for current demand at 56% in Edinburgh, followed by West Lothian (55%), East Renfrewshire (53%) and Glasgow (52%).
Aberdeen continues to have a rough ride where buyer demand is concerned at just 8%, with the area also seeing the third largest decline over the year down 41%, beaten only by the Orkney Isles (-45%) and South Ayrshire (-43%).
The Western Isles has seen the largest uplift at 31%, followed by Stirling (+20%).
Wales has bucked the trend across the rest of the UK, with demand levels increasing 13% to 31% currently.
Newport is currently seeing the largest levels of buyer demand at 56%, with Caerphilly (47%), Cardiff (44%) and Monmouthshire (43%) also enjoying strong demand.
Denbighshire (18%) and Gwynedd (19%) are home to the lowest levels of demand.
Despite being the coldest spot at present, Denbighshire has seen the largest turnaround in demand this year, up 37%, while Wrexham has seen a fall of -16%.
A marginal fall in demand over the last year reflects the tough market conditions that have been prevalent since the Brexit vote and it’s encouraging at least, that buyer demand has remained as high as it currently is.
The diversity of the market means, of course, some areas have performed a lot better than others and the likes of Bristol, Solihull, Rugby and Edinburgh seem undeterred by previous market uncertainty, whilst parts of London for example that were cornerstones of price growth, have seen buyer demand drop right off.
We’re confident that the market will now start to show signs of normality as we head into 2018 and leave an erratic year behind us. As this previous market sentiment grows, we will no doubt see buyer demand return to previous levels and prices follow suit.Russell Quirk