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Friday, June 10, 2016

May's property market slowest for 5 years

Home sales saw their slowest May for five years according to LSL Property Services.

The agency puts the slow market down to a post BTL surge to beat the SLDT surcharge and those Brexit jitters that the journo's keep harking on about.

  • The average UK property price (excluding London, SE and East) fell by 0.4% in May.
  • London’s average property price fell  0.3% (£1,769). 

housing transactions graph may 16

Adrian Gill, from LSL comments: 

“The housing market is holding its breath ahead of the EU referendum and after a rapid sprint at the start of the year. This 0.4% dip in average house prices in England & Wales since April will be a welcome respite for those hoping to get their first foot on the ladder. May’s correction in property values also follows on from a surge in activity earlier in the year, when second-home buyers and landlords brought forward their purchases to avoid the stamp duty surcharge. That tax hike and the Government’s anti-landlord policies are weighing down the market, but the main factor is short-term confidence ahead of the 23rd June referendum.

The year-on-year growth in house prices has also slowed, decelerating to 6.8% in May, from 7.7% in April. With the Chancellor predicting that a Brexit from the EU would reduce property values by at least 10%, many buyers are holding off until after the uncertainly surrounding the referendum has been resolved.
In London, house prices have slipped from last month’s record high, falling 0.3% (£1,769) month-on-month. This has pushed average property values in the capital back under the £600,000 mark, with the value of a typical home in the city falling to £598,421. However, this decline in property values has not spread across the entire capital. While house prices in the most expensive eleven boroughs have declined by an average of £4,000 (0.5%) from the previous month, values in the cheapest eleven boroughs continue to rise, jumping £3,000 (0.8%) month-on-month. But despite maintaining property values well above the rest of the UK, the demand for homes in London continues to grow. In the three months between February and April, sales of homes in London increased by 15%, compared to the same period last year. The majority of this upswing in sales came from flats. As landlords often prefer to provide flats to rent, these properties were a popular choice before the stamp duty surcharge came into force in April.

With so much uncertainty in the UK economy, home sales have been subdued. While the total number of property sales did increase from the previous month, this month has seen the fewest May property sales since 2011, when the UK was still recovering from the recession. This uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum will not be resolved until 23rd June at the earliest. However, home sales for the first five months of the year are still 3% higher than the same period in 2015, due to the investment from landlords earlier in the year. This suggest that over the long-run, landlords won’t be put off by the reduction in mortgage tax relief, as many believe the sector will still be profitable despite the Government’s attempts to drive them out of the market."

One positive, David Brent will be pleased to hear that Slough prices have risen 23.3% over the past 12 months  thanks to Crossrail and new tech jobs.

Read the LSL HPI for May 2016

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