While the London property market is never far from the headlines, we constantly hear about the North-South divide and the lack of new homes across the UK, which areas of the UK real estate market are actually showing the greatest demand? Is the London market really as buoyant as many would have you believe or are there unpublicised trends emerging in other parts of the country?
Perhaps the strongest indicator of a buoyant property market is the amount of viewings required before a property is sold. Without looking at the underlying information you may be mistaken for assuming that London is the most fluid market but this is not actually the case.
London buyers pool reducing
Research by online estate agent House Network has uncovered some very interesting facts across the UK property market with regards to demand. Properties across some parts of London including Ilford, Wembley and West London are taking on average 23, 22 and 20 viewings before the properties are sold. This would indicate reduced demand and could be a precursor to a slowdown in London property price rises which we have become accustomed to over the years.
This trend is also replicated in other parts of the capital such as North London, Twickenham, Croydon and Sutton with properties in these areas requiring more than 15 viewings before a sale is finalised.
Most popular parts of the UK
While it may not be on the average property investor’s radar, Carlisle in the north-west of England wins the prize for the U.K.’s easiest city in which to sell a property. Recent data suggest that on average it takes just six viewings before a sale is completed indicating a possible squeeze in prices on the back of relatively strong demand. Of course the fact that property prices in Carlisle, one of the most northern points of England, are but a fraction of those in London will obviously play a part in this growing trend.
Many will also be surprised to learn that property markets in the South West and Wales are also particular hotspots from a selling point of view. Indeed on average it takes just seven viewings before properties in Perth, Glasgow, Middlesbrough, Torquay and Wrexham are sold. How long this trend will continue remains to be seen but there are signs that more and more investors are now looking towards “value markets”.
A fluid market is vital
On paper your property could be worth £500,000 or £1 million but this is irrelevant unless you are actually able to sell at the theoretical value. The fact is that the more potential buyers the greater the upward pressure on prices and the greater the opportunity to actually complete a sale.
Whether or not we are seeing a growing trend away from more traditional markets such as London towards the “value” markets in the North of England and Scotland remains to be seen. However, the indicators would seem to be suggesting at least a short-term change in investment attitudes amid concerns that the affordability factor is finally impacting some of the “hotspots” of the UK property market.