Property News

2015 not a good year for property sales in the South

Em Morley - December 31, 2015

2015 was not a good year for property sales in the South, with new research suggesting that transactions fell furthest in this area over the course of the twelve months.

A report from the Halifax suggests that all regions experienced a dip in sales over the past year, but there was a significant north/south divide.

Higher or lower

The largest reported decline was in Greater London, where sales were down by 14%. The North West recorded the smallest drop of just 3%. There were however marked differences in local markets, with different high and low markets across some regions.

For example, in Yorkshire and the Humber, sales were down by 6% but in Batley, sales dropped by 27%. In Pontefract however, they were up by 20%.

82% of towns saw a decrease in sales in 2015. This is almost a complete reversal from 2014, where 97% of towns saw a rise. Despite Greater London seeing the largest decline in activity, it did not deter prices, which actually rose by an average of £55,095.

Two towns recorded an increase of 20% or more in sales between 2014 and 2015. The largest rises were in Salford (23%) and Pontefract (20%). All ten towns that saw the largest increases in sales are located outside southern England.

2015 not a good year for property sales in the South

2015 not a good year for property sales in the South


Market Rasen, located in Lincolnshire, saw the greatest dip in sales, with a fall in sales of 30% between the first eight months of 2014 and the same period of 2015.

Seventeen towns experienced a decline of 25% or more and seven out of the ten towns that recorded the largest falls were located in London and the South East. Kensington and Chelsea was the worst performing borough in London with a 28% dip in sales. This was followed closely by Hammersmith and Fulham. In all, thirty London boroughs saw a fall in sales, with just two experiencing a rise.

Craig McKinlay, Mortgages Director at the Halifax, noted, ‘activity in the housing market has generally softened in 2015 with sales in the first eight months of the year down by 8% compared with the same period in 2014. While sales have declined in all regions, there is a clear north versus south pattern, with sales falling most in southern regions. An acute shortage of properties for sales has also added to the constraints on activity.’[1]

‘Nonetheless, there remain substantial local variations in housing activity with a small number of towns recording significant increases. These towns are largely in the north and are where prices are relatively low,’ he added.[1]