Residential demand down and landlords leave: Propertymark

NAEA and Arla Propertymark have released their respective yearly overviews, revealing that in 2018, housing demand fell and BTL landlords left the property market.

Regarding the former point, NAEA’s report shows that during this year, there were an average of 324 house buyers registered per branch monitored. During 2017, this number stood at 366, meaning a drop of nearly 13 per cent. The report adds that in 2008 there were 222 per branch.

Sales agreed per branch also fell, from an average of nine per month last year to eight in 2018. However, the number of properties available remained at similar levels to last year: in 2018 there were an average of 39 up for grabs in each branch compared to 38 last year. Again, Propertymark has provided a comparison to last year: in 2008, there were 89 properties available per branch.

The report adds that first-time buyer activity fell too – the proportion of total sales to new home owners fell to 25 per cent this year in comparison to 26 per cent last year.

NAEA Propertymark chief executive Mark Hayward says: “[This year] has been a busy year for the property market, with the government launching several consultations to address important issues – most notably to regulate the sector, improve the buying and selling process, and address the issue of leaseholds.

“The housing market has notably slowed, particularly over the last couple of months, which could be a by-product of Brexit uncertainty, as buyers hold off on purchases until the outcome is clear.”

Additionally, Arla Propertymark has analysed the private rented sector across the year, and found that the number of buy-to-let investors selling properties per branch has risen from an average of three in 2017 to four this year, with a three-year high of five per branch recorded in April and May.

As well as this, Arla Propertymark reports that supply was down in 2018, from an average of 189 properties being managed by letting agents per branch last year to 187 this year. However, in October, this jumped to 198.

Arla Propertymark chief executive David Cox adds: “The number of landlords exiting the rental market is rising, and those who aren’t worried about it yet, should be. BTL investors have faced a huge amount of legislative change over the last 18 months alone, and as costs rise, they are being driven out of the market and new ones are being deterred from entering.

“The government is developing a joined-up approach for legislating the private rented sector, but until this has been put into action and the market is made more attractive for landlords, rents will continue to rise, competition will intensify, and tenants will continue to suffer.”

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