Posts with tag: UK Property market

UK Property Market Gains Momentum in March, Reports Agency Express

Published On: April 6, 2017 at 9:51 am


Categories: Property News

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The UK property market gained momentum in March, according to the latest Property Activity Index from Agency Express.

The monthly data shows a nationwide increase in both new property listings, which rose by 21.7%, and the number of properties sold, which was up by 18.0%.

UK Property Market Gains Momentum in March, Reports Agency Express

UK Property Market Gains Momentum in March, Reports Agency Express

These increases appear consistent with recent reports from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which stated: “The housing market has been slowly building up momentum over the last few months, largely getting back to activity levels we saw in the beginning of 2016.”

Assessing property market activity across the UK, Agency Express found that all of the 12 regions included in the index experienced growth in both new property listings and the amount of properties sold.

March’s top performer was the West Midlands. Setting the pace for the rest of the UK, the region recorded robust rises in new property listings, which were up by 31.7%, and properties sold, which increased by 22.6%.

This surge in activity was also highlighted by Rightmove in its latest House Price Index. Dubbed the “Mighty Midlands”, figures sat at record highs, with house prices up by 2.1% on a monthly basis and 4.2% annually.

High levels of activity were also recorded in central England. Following a dip in the property market during February, new property listings bounced back, up by 29.4%, as did the number of properties sold, which rose by 28.8%.

Other regional hotspots in this month’s Property Activity Index included:

The number of properties sold 

  • North East: +28.0%
  • South West: +23.1%
  • London: +20.1%
  • Scotland: +19.5%

Amount of new property listings

  • East Anglia: +31.7%
  • East Midlands: +28.3%
  • South West: +26.8%
  • North East: +23.6%

Stephen Watson, the Managing Director of Agency Express, comments on the figures: “The month-on-month increases revealed by March’s Property Activity Index have reported positively across the nation.

“However, year-on-year, we are seeing a decline in properties sold, which is a reflection of the increasing affordability issues. Looking forwards into April, we traditionally experience a seasonal slowdown over the Easter holidays, but we would expect the current trend to resume promptly after.”

UK Ideal Home Size among Largest in the World, Survey Reveals

Published On: April 4, 2017 at 8:36 am


Categories: Property News

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Real estate blog Point2 Homes asked 29,000 people from nine countries about their current and ideal home sizes, to get a global perspective on typical residences and home size expectations. According to the survey, Brits have the fourth largest homes on average among surveyed countries, but ideal home size expectations are even bigger.

The nine countries surveyed were the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico and Brazil. Here are some key findings:

  • 38% of British residents surveyed said their ideal home should exceed 2,501 square feet of space
  • Almost two thirds of UK respondents said their ideal home should be larger than the one they already live in
  • UK respondents have the same ideal home size expectations as respondents from Mexico and Australia
  • The UK and France are tied when it comes to the average current home size– between 1,500 and 1,600 square feet

The expectations of British respondents may come as a surprise, considering that Americans, Canadians, and particularly Australians are the ones better known for their love for large homes. However, considering that the average Canadian home is over 200 square feet larger than the British equivalent, American homes are 400 sq. ft. larger, and Australian homes 500 sq. ft. larger, the Brits’ desire for more room makes sense.

UK Ideal Home Size among Largest in the World, Survey Reveals

UK Ideal Home Size among Largest in the World, Survey Reveals

Britain in 4th place for average home size

The answers tallied during the survey show great diversity, both in terms of home sizes and expectations. Australia, for example, has the largest homes by far, but also wants the largest homes. Brazil, on the other hand, has the smallest average home size among surveyed countries, while expectations here are mostly reasonable.

At 1,590 square feet, British homes are larger than those in other European countries, like France, Germany, or Spain. In fact, the UK comes closest to entering the top three countries with the largest homes among the nine surveyed, behind Canada by only 10%. The US and Australia are in a league of their own, with average home sizes hovering around 2,000 sq. ft.

Britain in 1st place for largest ideal homes

However, the ideal home size is a different story, as residents of some countries simply like to dream big. Here, the UK is in the lead, with the biggest gap between average actual home size and ideal residence. 38% of Brits surveyed think the ideal home should be over 2,501 sq. ft. in size.

23% of responders in the UK say their ideal home would be larger than 3,000 square feet. Only Australians come close, with 21% of respondents stating that their ideal home would be at least 3,000 sq. ft.

The Australian’s homes surveyed are 2,032 sq. ft. on average, but most respondents think homes of over 2,501 sq. ft. would be ideal. Oddly enough, residential developers down under are building smaller homes, while recent reports in Britain show that the average size of a newly built home has been increasing since the 1990s.

Mexico isn’t far behind in terms of lofty home size expectations, as 32% of respondents stated that their ideal home size should exceed 2,501 square feet.

Brits enjoy little individual personal space, driving preference for larger homes

Brits enjoy little individual personal space, driving preference for larger homes

Brits enjoy little individual personal space, driving preference for larger homes

While average home size is an important metric, according to a report by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), property listings in the UK focus much more on the number of rooms in a house. Why? Because individual personal space is perhaps more relevant to homebuyers than total house size.

“Unlike in many other countries, homes are marketed by the number of bedrooms rather than floor space. This idiosyncrasy of the UK housing market means that space is not easily understood or translated into any meaningful information for consumers,” states Rebecca Roberts-Hughes, author of the RIBA report.

Divide the average UK home size by the average number of family members among respondents, and the result is 454 square feet per person. This figure places Britain among the countries with least individual living space.

Brits still have more breathing room in their own homes than Spaniards, Mexicans or Brazilians. Germans, on the other hand, may have smaller homes, but the survey data shows that they also have smaller families on average, which gets them more space per person than the French or the British.

The survey results also highlight the differences between what is typical in European countries, and what is typical in countries from the Americas and Australia. Generally, the latter tend to build larger homes. Among the European countries surveyed, Britain still reigns supreme in terms of home size. Ultimately, the survey shows that Brits are the biggest dreamers of all.


The Point2 Homes survey was made in Google Surveys and distributed to users via the Point2 Homes real estate platform and many other real estate websites in all surveyed countries, in the form of an optional pop-up. Point2 Homes analysts tallied and correlated the answers in-house.

Brexit uncertainty prompts decline in UK property activity

Published On: March 28, 2017 at 1:18 pm


Categories: Property News

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Home buyer demand has seen a slow recovery from initial Brexit uncertainty. Now, there are only 24 hours to go until the Prime Minister plans to trigger Article 50, in what is set to be a historic day for Britain.

A new YouGov poll for HomeOwners Alliance and warranty provider BLP Insurance has discovered than over one million people have put off plans to move this year because of Brexit uncertainty.


The housing market in Britain has slowed during the past 12 months, against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty. This is attributed somewhat to the outcome of the EU referendum, with 15% of people saying that they had postponed moving plans for this year. One in six cited Brexit as a main reason.

650,000 people were found to have been deterred from moving due to higher stamp duty rates.

Other main reasons for putting people off moving or from buying a home were:

  • Rising property prices-26%
  • Living costs-25%
  • Difficulty in obtaining a mortgage/re-mortgage-25%

Those in the North East (27%) and Northern Ireland (21%) were most likely to have cancelled plans to move since the vote.

Brexit uncertainty prompts decline in UK property activity

Brexit uncertainty prompts decline in UK property activity


Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said: ‘With the Government preparing to trigger Article 50 this week, we expect further uncertainty in the market until the UK’s future relationship with Europe is more clearly defined.’[1]

‘The Government could help to ameliorate the situation, by looking again at stamp duty. It remains stubbornly high and acts as a drag on the market. Reducing the burden for genuine owner-occupiers could really help to keep the market moving in these uncertain times,’ she added.[1]



Property prices could rise by 2% in 2017-depending on economy

Published On: December 20, 2016 at 9:58 am


Categories: Property News

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The UK residential property market’s performance during 2017 will rest majorly on how the economy develops during 2017, according to Nationwide.

It is believed that next year will see the UK starting the process of leaving the European Union, which means the economic outlook is difficult to call. Small price growth of around 2% has been projected by the firm.

Economic links

Chief Economist at the Nationwide Robert Gardner, feels that the residential housing market growth will depend hugely on what happens in the wider economy.

Gardner note: ‘Like most forecasters, including the Bank of England, we expect the UK economy to slow modestly next year, which is likely to result in less robust labour market conditions and modestly slower house price growth.’[1]

‘But we continue to think a small gain of around 2% is more likely than a decline over 2017 as a whole, since low interest rates are expected to help underpin demand while a shortage of homes on the market will continue to provide support for house prices,’ he continued.[1]

In addition, Gardner said: ‘The major house builders appear to have capacity to expand output, with most reporting land banks that could support around five years’ worth of construction at current rates of building activity. However, there is a risk that the uncertain economic outlook may weigh on activity in the period ahead.’[1]

Property prices could rise by 2% in 2017-depending on economy

Property prices could rise by 2% in 2017-depending on economy

Policy changes

Moving on, Mr Gardner looked at what has happened during 2016, noting that overall house price growth remained between 4% and 6-in line with expectations.

He acknowledges that a number of policy changes have made it more difficult to ascertain the underlying strength of housing demand for a lot of 2016. He observes: ‘The picture was further obscured by the gyrations of some forward looking indicators of economic activity and consumer sentiment in the wake of the Brexit vote, where a number of indicators recorded large, but short lived, declines.’[1]

‘However, what made the most difference to the market in 2016 was that the fundamentals underpinning housing demand remained solid. Labour market conditions were robust, with strong employment growth, healthy gains in real wages, thanks in part to low inflation, and borrowing costs falling to new record lows,’ he concluded.[1]



Property supply slowdown in October

Published On: November 4, 2016 at 11:09 am


Categories: Property News

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After a burst of activity in the UK market during September, figures for property supply in October are subdued in comparison.

Nationally, figures for sold property stood at 0.3% and for sale -11.2%, according to the latest Property Activity Index from Agency Express.


A seasonal decline in October comes as little surprise, but the figures recorded this year are greater than those at the same period 12 months ago. Then, new listings were down -4.3%, while sold properties were at 2.7%.

Just four of the twelve regions assessed by the Property Activity Index saw increases in properties sold, while none recorded increases in new listings for sale.

The top performing region was the West Midlands, where figures for properties sold rose for the second straight month to stand at 13%. Listings for sale saw a decline to -4.9%. Over a three month period, new listings were down by -3.9% overall.

At the other end of the scale, the largest declines were seen in the North East. Here, after a strong September, figures for October fell sharply. New listings for sale dropped to hit -31.2%, while properties sold were at -18.1%.

In the twelve regions investigated, the best in terms of properties for sold were:

South West-10%


North West 5.8%

And for new listings for sale, the best figures were seen in:

Wales- -0.4%

East Anglia- -7.6%

Property supply slowdown for October

Property supply slowdown for October


Stephen Watson, Managing Director of Agency Express, observed: ‘During October we traditionally observe a seasonal slowdown, however this month’s Property Activity Index has shown one consistent trend across the UK and that is a slowdown in supply. As we head in to the last few months of the year it is unlikely that we will see any major increases. However, if the slowdown in supply continues it will be interesting to see how the market picks up in the New Year where a spike in supply is expected.’[1]

[1] Property Activity Index Press Release, ‘October 2016 Sales Report’ 04.11.16

American Real Estate Agent Ready to Launch in UK

Published On: September 17, 2015 at 11:55 am


Categories: Landlord News

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A giant American real estate agency franchise is set to launch in the UK.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate and a new firm, GBRE Ltd, based in London, have signed a master franchise contract.

GBRE will operate Coldwell Banker Great Britain, to be headed by managing director Vic Pegna.

A fellow director of GBRE is Stuart White, the former UK master franchisee of another major American firm, Century 21.

American Real Estate Agent Ready to Launch in UK

American Real Estate Agent Ready to Launch in UK

The two directors are currently at a conference in Chicago, where they are being introduced to the Coldwell Banker global network and giving a presentation on the UK property market.

Initially, the new business will focus on London, but plans to expand further into England, Wales and Scotland.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate has a global network of 3,000 offices in 44 countries, with around 88,000 staff members.

It calls itself the oldest national real estate brand and franchise in the USA.

President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Budge Huskey, says: “There is no doubt that expansion into Great Britain was paramount to our continued international growth.

“The region reflects similarly to the US housing market with approximately 65% homeownership rate and an improving economy.

“London itself ranks as one of the world’s top financial centres and therefore is critically important for us.

“Vic and his management team, with almost 100 years of combined experience with operating real estate firms in Great Britain, are equipped to navigate the competitive landscape with a focus on growth.”1

Pegna was previously in mortgage departments at Your Move and Countrywide.

White was formerly the Century 21 franchisee in the UK, from 2005 to November 2013, and also used to work at Countrywide.

US real estate companies currently operating in the UK include Century 21, Re/Max, Sothebys Realty and Keller Williams, which launched in London last year.

Century 21 UK is now operated by financial and property firm Shepherd Direct Group.