UK homes market sees more properties coming up for sale online

The number of UK home owners putting their properties on the market online has increased by 7.1% in the past month compared to the previous month, the latest research shows.

Some 67% of major towns and cities in the UK have seen a rise in the number of new properties being marketed in the same period, according to the data from online estate agents House Simple.

The index, compiled from the number of new properties listed every week on the property portal Rightmove in more than 100 major towns and cities across the UK and all the London boroughs, also shows that although new stock levels remain low overall across the country, home owners are finally starting to put their homes on the market.

The largest increases in new listings in the past month compared to the previous month was in Swindon with growth of 47.3% followed by Liverpool and Leicester, both at 30.4%, then Lancaster at 24.3% and Sunderland at 22%.

Next came Halifax at 21.1%, Coventry at 21.1%, Hereford at 19%, Lincoln at 17.6% and Oxford and Dundee both at 17.5%. These towns and cities were followed by Edinburgh and Blackpool at 17.2%, Hartlepool at 17.1% and Bolton at 16.3%.

The figures also reveal a distinct north/south divide, with home owners in the north of England and Scotland appearing to be more active in June and July in marketing their properties. Nine out of 15 of the new property listings risers are in the north of England or Scotland, while four towns/cities in the Midlands also feature in the list.

Winchester saw the biggest drop in new properties coming onto the market in the past month compared to the previous month with a fall of 17.9%, followed by Hull down by 13.7%, Doncaster down by 12.5% and Cambridge down by 8.7%.

Next came Nottingham with a fall of 8.1%, Torquay at 7.6%, Grimsby at 6.2%, Norwich at 5.8% and Glasgow at 5.7%.

The London property market has slowed in recent months. However, Rightmove figures analysed by HouseSimple reveal that the capital has seen an 8.1% increase in new properties being listed in the past month compared to the previous month.

Some 78.1% of London boroughs have seen an increase in new properties being marketed in the past month and the biggest rise was in the City and Westminster at 29.5%, Islington at 28.8% and Southwark at 27.1%. Meanwhile the biggest fallers have been Bromley, down 11.2%, Kingston upon Thames down 6.6% and Havering down 4.4%.

‘A stampede of sellers coming to market was expected after the General Election result, but that stampede never materialised. In fact, for the first few weeks there appeared to be a fair amount of caution and reluctance amongst sellers to market,’ said Alex Gosling, chief executive officer of House Simple.

‘This may have been a case of waiting to see if property prices might start to rise rapidly with the confidence generated by a stable, majority government. Now it appears sellers have waited long enough, and we’re starting to see some movement,’ he explained.

‘New stock levels are still quite low, but it will be reassuring for the market to see that two thirds of UK towns and cities have seen stock levels rise in the past month. The market still needs more stock to temper house price growth,’ he added.

‘One of the reasons why prices haven’t cooled, and are seemingly on a relentless upwards trajectory, has been a lack of new properties coming onto the market, especially in London. Hopefully, we’re going to start seeing a rebalancing of supply and demand,’ he concluded.