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Property market was slow but steady in third quarter of 2019

Rental Property

The UK’s housing market was slow but steady, affected by Brexit uncertainty, in the third quarter of 2019 but first time buyer sales increased by 8%, the latest industry analysis shows.

Sales grew by 2.2% year on year, a slowing rate of growth with properties valued at £300,000 and below were the best sellers, according to the national home mover report from TwentyCi.

It also reveals a North/South divide for average asking prices with 7% growth in Scotland, 5% in the North East, 4% in Yorkshire and the Humber and 2% in the North West and East Midlands.

But across the South average asking prices fell by 3% in London, were down 2% in the South East and down 1% in the South West, the data from the report also shows.

While previous reports showed some growth in average asking prices for properties in the South of the UK, the firm says that it is likely that homes in this region have seen average asking prices stabilise following their earlier peak, with the peak of this growth in the North.

But across the UK’s major cities average asking prices have been more resilient overall with more major cities reporting an increase for example, Leeds up7% and Nottingham up 5%, while in Birmingham asking prices fell by 1%, while in London and Southampton they were down by 3%.

Across most major UK cities properties for sale continue to hold the majority share compared with housing stock available for rent in the third quarter of 2019. But rental housing stock volumes for this period are also substantial. The exception, where there are greater numbers of rental homes offered to the market than the number of properties that exist for sale, are in London, Manchester and Leeds.

The report also reveals that there was a fall of 1.7% in new properties coming to the market as home owners have become more wary of listing their homes for sale while suggested Government proposals to make house sellers pay stamp duty instead of buyers in this quarter may have also contributed to this caution.

There were 1,715,395 new instructions in the third quarter of which 212,319 were fall throughs and 801,013 withdrawals in the market.

‘Consistent to our previous reports, this last quarter has again shown an overall slower moving market, reflecting the current unpredictable trading environment,’ said Colin Bradshaw, chief customer officer at TwentyCi.

‘Consumers are showing caution when it comes to both buying and selling property. With the likely outcome of Brexit still unclear, the uncertainty over both the economy, consumer confidence and the housing market will persist at least in the short term,’ he added.