Our first national hotspots index of the year shows that in Q1 UK property demand remained static at 36% when compared to Q4 of 2017. While the market has been slow out of the blocks in 2018, it suggests that the dwindling buyer demand seen over the last year has started to subside as an air of confidence returns to the market.
Change in property demand (Q4,2017-Q1,2018)
Wales has enjoyed an uplift of +6% now at 33% nationwide, with Scotland close behind with a 5% increase, while property demand across England has fallen by -3% over the start of 2018.
Emoov’s National Hotspots Index
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 the 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. This article includes both the current level of buyer demand as well as how this demand has changed since the previous quarter.
Swindon currently ranks as the hottest city for property demand at 66%. Not only is Glasgow the hottest spot in Scotland but it also ranks as the second hottest city across the nation also at 66%.
Newport (61%) in Wales takes the bronze medal position for hottest UK cities for buyer demand.
Edinburgh (60%) is the second Scottish city to make the top 10 with Ely (57%), Gloucester, Ashford, Solihull and Coventry (56%) and Bromsgrove (55%) completing the top 10.
The biggest changes in demand were found in Bracknell (+59%), Wirral (+46%), Winchester (+38%), Tonbridge (+36%) and St Helens (+35%).
A tough year for the London property market has seen larger degrees of market uncertainty result in the slowest price growth of all UK regions. In addition, buyer demand had fallen a further -15% since the end of 2017, now at 23%.
Current London Demand
London Demand Change
Bexley remains the most in-demand borough at 52%, followed by Bromley (38%), Barking and Dagenham (37%), Lewisham (34%) and Croydon (33%).
Although home to a low level of buyer demand (16%) Hammersmith and Fulham has seen the biggest increase in demand in 2018 up +43%, along with Newham (+30%), Kensington and Chelsea (+30%), Westminster (+17%) and Lambeth (+16%).
London Commuter Belt
While market conditions look bleak in the capital, London’s commuter belt is enjoying current demand levels of 40%, although this has waned by -5% in 2018.
At 56%, Ashford in Kent is the hottest spot in the commuter belt for current demand along with Folkestone (54%), Rochford (52%), Stevenage (52%) and Colchester (52%). Tonbridge has seen the largest increase in demand (+36%), with Wycombe (+17%) and Colchester (+17%).
Hottest Counties and Regions
Bristol is the hottest county in England for current demand at 55% while the West Midlands has enjoyed the largest uplift with an increase of +36% so far in 2018.
Hottest UK County/Regions
England - Bristol
Wales - Newport
Scotland - Glasgow
Newport remains the hottest spot in Wales at 61%, with Powys enjoying a +34% increase from Q4, the largest in Wales. Argyll and Bute has seen the largest increase north of the border (+38%) with Glasgow enjoying the third highest (+23%), also still the hottest spot in Scotland for current demand at 64%.
Market activity has remained subdued throughout the start of the year, but it seems as if the tide is finally starting to turn and we should see conditions improve as the year goes on.
There are plenty of pockets across the nation that continue to see strong levels of buyer interest, however, market uncertainty has seen many sellers refrain from selling and in turn, the lack of varied stock has seen buyer demand, in general, remain restricted.
As we now enter the busiest period of the year for home sellers and buyers, we should see demand across the board stabilise and along with additional factors, such as the intended improvement in the regulation of estate agents, confidence will start to return to the UK property market.Russell Quirk