The property market was given an early autumn supply boost, according to the latest Property Supply Index put together by online estate agents Housesimple.com.
The Index found that the amount of new properties listed for sale in September throughout the country increased by almost a fifth on the month before, with new supply up 18.1% across major UK towns and cities. The number of new homes for sale went up from 61,472 in August to 72,593 in September.
Although the increase can in part be put down to the traditional lull over the summer period as families head off on their holidays, the number of new homes being brought to market was also up by 6.2% on September 2017.
On a regional basis, London witnessed a massive 45.5% rise in new listings in September, more than double the UK average. It was also the highest level of new supply coming to the market in the capital in any single month since the start of 2015.
Growth in London was comfortably ahead of the city with the second biggest rise in sellers in September versus August – Cambridge – where there was a 36.2% increase in new homes on the market, closely followed by Salisbury (34.1%), Salford (33.8%), Winchester (32.5%), Poole (31.5%) and Sale (27.2%). Rugby, Stevenage and Worthing also witnessed substantial increases in new listings.
By contrast, Lichfield in the West Midlands witnessed the biggest decrease in new sellers in September (down 37.1%). Lancaster saw a drop-off of 31.6%, while the number of new sellers fell by 29.1% in Loughborough. Substantial falls were also seen in Stoke-on-Trent and Chester.
Zoning in on London again, its recovery in September is all the more remarkable when you consider the double digit falls in new supply in both July and August.
While every London borough reported a 20% increase in new property supply last month, Kensington and Chelsea – a Prime Central London location favoured by overseas buyers – soared above the rest, witnessing a 96.1% rise in new listings.
Haringey, Camden, the City of Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham were other London boroughs which also saw significant rises in new sellers.
“It was one of the hottest summers on record and buyer and seller activity inevitably dropped off in July and August,” Sam Mitchell, chief executive of Housesimple.com, said.
“But come September, it was very much business as usual. We saw a healthy level of new properties being listed last month, in what is traditionally a busy period for estate agents.
He said it was interesting to note that seller numbers were rising faster in London than anywhere else in the country. “Understandably, a lot of homeowners were choosing to wait, hoping that prices would recover quickly. Now that doesn’t appear likely, the need to move is the priority. They don’t want to wait any longer and they know this is a good time to sell with plenty of motivated buyers.”
Mitchell added: “It’s not so much a case of beating the Brexit rush for the door, but more life has to go on. People will always need to move whatever is happening in the housing market and wider economy. And there seems to be more of an acceptance now amongst sellers that they need to price more realistically to attract a buyer. This sensible and measured view is helping to push through more sales which wasn’t the case before the summer.”