Demand from buyers in UK falls in first few months of 2017

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Property demand across the UK has fallen since the start of the year with Wales seeing less interest than the rest of the country, the latest analysis shows.

Demand from buyers is currently 33.8%, down by 17.56% since the end of 2016. It has reached 39.4% in England, 36.18% in Scotland and 27.35% in Wales, according to the national hotspots index report from eMoov.

The index, which measures demand in 150 towns and cities, shows that the highest levels of buyer demand is 68.29% in Rugby, followed by Portsmouth at 66.7% and Bristol at 64.43%, while the lowest is in Aberdeen at 14.11%, Hartlepool at 15.43% and Middlesbrough at 19.15%.

Stoke-on-Trent at 82.25%, Stockton-On-Tees at 77.75% and Walsall at 65.09% have all seen the largest increases in buyer demand in 2017 so far.

But demand has been falling on London commuter towns and cities including Guildford down 35.84%, Watford down 35.73%, Cambridge down 29.74%, Reading down 27.17% and Brentwood down 26.93%.

‘With many of the UK’s major cities becoming too expensive for homeowners in the region and travel infrastructure improvements allowing us to live further away from work, it is no surprise that places such as Rugby and Portsmouth have grown in prominence amongst UK buyers. It isn’t just those in London that are looking outside of the larger city boundaries and opting for more affordable towns in the surrounding area,’ said eMoov chief executive officer Russell Quirk.

He pointed out that at 32.31%, buyer demand across London is down 5%. The borough of Bexley has the most demand at 56.13%, followed by Newham at 51.82% and Havering at 50.51%. The biggest decreases were in the boroughs of Greenwich which was down 60.83%, Lambeth down 57.62% and Hounslow down 52.69%.

Westminster has the lowest level of London buyer demand at 10.14%, followed by Kensington and Chelsea at 11.49% and Hammersmith and Fulham at 13.15%. Since the end of 2016 demand has fallen in all three of these boroughs by 36.64%, 28.16% and 40.24% respectively.

Across Scotland the highest levels of current buyer demand are in South Ayrshire at 67.18%, Edinburgh at 56.47% and Glasgow at 56.42% while the biggest increases in demand are in Highland with a rise of 66.59%, South Lanarkshire up 47.69 and Fife up 40.47%.

Although demand is still low in Aberdeenshire, the area has seen an increase of 21.46% since the end of 2016. While the biggest declines in buyer demand since 2016 are Moray with a fall of 22.54%, Argyle and Bute down 14.2%) and Stirling down 6.33%.

In Wales Caerphilly at 47.12%, Newport at 46.92% and Cardiff at 42.89% rank as the top three hottest areas for property demand at present. But Cardiff’s popularity amongst Welsh buyers means the capital has seen some of the lowest upward growth in buyer demand, having increased by just 4.15% so far in 2017, whilst Rhondda Cynon Taf is up 31.57% and Swansea up 28.29%, the largest increases in buyer demand this year.

The Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Denbighshire regions have the lowest demand in Wales at 15.75%, 15.54% and 13.36% respectively while the biggest falls in demand in Wales are Bridgend down 13.47%, Monmouthshire down 9.63% and Neath Port Talbot down 3.22%.

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