Demand for property grows across the UK but not in London

National property demand in the UK has increased by 3% overall since the first quarter of the year but it is down by 2% in London, the latest hot spot index shows.

Despite the initial artificial spike in demand ahead of April’s stamp duty deadline, the changes to tax brackets for second home and buy to let properties seems to have had a detrimental impact on London property demand, according to the index report from eMoov.

Removing this decrease in the London market from the national picture sees the increase in demand for property elsewhere around the nation increase by 8% since the first quarter of 2016, taking it to 40% overall.

Despite demand cooling across the capital, the London Borough of Bexley remains the hottest spot in the UK for property demand at 71 although it has cooled by 7% since the start of the year in line with the decrease felt across the capital as a whole.

Bristol remains the hottest spot outside of the London bubble, with demand increased, albeit marginally, to 69% followed by Bedford at 67%, then Aylesbury and Medway both at 64%, then the London Borough of Sutton and Watford both at 61%.

Both Cambridge at 21st and Milton Keynes at 15th are out of the top 10 and are replaced by Northampton and Coventry, where property demand is currently at 64% and 58% respectively.

The Scottish capital continues to lead north of the border, with Edinburgh at 54% the 18th hottest spot ahead of Glasgow with 48% at 34th. This is also the case in Wales, where property demand in Cardiff is currently at 44% making it the 44th hottest spot in the UK, with Swansea trailing way down in 90th place at just 27%.

Kingston Upon Thames at 59% and Southwark at 47% are two of only five boroughs to have seen a positive increase in property demand levels since the first quarter and are the first and second largest increases across the UK respectively.

There has also been a resurgence for property demand across the North East after a tough year for home owners in the region. Stockton-on-Tees at 47%, North Tyneside at 46%, Gateshead at 42%, Durham at 37%, Newcastle at 32% and Sunderland at 23% have all recorded some of the biggest increases in property demand since the first quarter.

At just 12% the London Borough of Westminster continues to prop up the table, joined by its prime central London neighbours Kensington and Chelsea also at 12% and Hammersmith and Fulham at 17%, as well as Camden at 20%, the coldest spots in the UK for property demand. Despite its slight revival in the first quarter demand for property in Aberdeen is also low at just 13%.

‘The changes to stamp duty tax brackets for those looking to secure a second home or buy-to-let property seem to have hit the London market harder than the rest of the UK,’ said Russell Quirk, chief executive officer of eMoov.

‘Despite London tending to drive the UK market as a whole, it would seem for once, it has taken a back seat whilst the rest of the UK has enjoyed upward growth on the first quarter of this year. That said national demand is still lower than the levels seen at the back end of last year and the big decider on which way it goes now will be Britain’s choice to leave the European Union,’ he pointed out.

‘There has been a lot of talk about the consequence of this vote on the UK property market with many forecasting a detrimental impact on house prices. We don’t believe this to be the case and I’m certain that by the third quarter our index will show a further increase in property demand across the nation,’ he added.