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Sellers return to test the UK housing market

Supply of property increased during February, as sellers returned to the test the housing market, according to the latest research from HouseSimple.

The latest Property Supply Index from the online estate agents, with figures based on data from Home.co.uk, which lists more than 500,000 properties for sale, shows that UK housing supply increased by 13.3% last month compared to January.

The study found that 83.7% of towns and cities saw a rise in the volume of new listings up in February, providing greater choice for prospective homebuyers, including property investors, as we enter a traditionally busy period for the housing market.  

The following table shows the UK towns and cities that experienced the biggest increases in new property listings in February versus January:

Town/City

Region

% rise in new listings in February vs. January

Warwick

West Midlands

76.2%

Edinburgh

Scotland

59.7%

Carlisle

North West

54.6%

Lancaster

North West

48.1%

High Wycombe

South East

42.2%

Darlington

North East

40.8%

Grimsby

Yorkshire and the Humber

40.0%

Chester

North West

39.5%

Hartlepool

North East

39.1%

Stockton on Tees

North East

37.7%

But some areas did see housing supply drop last month, particularly in Bootle, Guildford and Salford, where the volume of new property listings fell 12.6%, 12.4% and 8.5% respectively.

Areas like Chelmsford, Nuneaton and Ipswich were among the other big fallers when it comes to properties listed for sale.

In London, where the housing shortage is most acute in this country, supply was up just 4.7% in February, although some areas, like Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Haringey and Hounslow, did see sizeable rises in listings.

Alex Gosling, CEO of HouseSimple.com, said: “The market needs a boost in supply and it’s encouraging to see that new listings are up in February, albeit that we would typically expect numbers to rise in the coming months as sellers list their properties in time for the Spring market.

“What’s more encouraging is that new stock levels are higher than October 2016 and only slightly short of September 2016, both traditionally strong months for the property market. Now we need to see buoyant listings figures in March and April because the buyers are definitely there, and thanks to the continued competitive mortgage deals still on offer, they are committed to purchasing.”

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