UK Relocation: 2015 Housing Market Update
Our Cartus UK MarketWatch provides those involved in UK relocation with an update on the current residential rental and sales markets. The latest issue looks at the imbalance between supply and demand, and the regional differences in both markets. Here’s a snapshot of our latest UK MarketWatch:
London vs. UK. The average rental rate for tenants in the UK, excluding Greater London, is £738. For those renting in the capital city, the average jumps to over £1,400. (Hometrack Rental Index)
Supply-Demand Imbalance. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors indicates that landlord instructions have been ‘broadly unchanged for the past couple of years’ and show ‘no signs of a material increase’. This means that demand continues to outstrip supply, which would appear to be pushing up rental prices.
Biggest Hurdle to Homeownership. In its 2015 Generation Rent report, Halifax found that first-time buyers rated the ‘size of the mortgage loan deposit’ as the biggest challenge preventing them from getting on the property ladder. At £29,894, the average first-time buyer mortgage deposit is 82% higher than it was in 2007; that’s £13,494 more!
Average Price. The average UK house is valued at between £195,055 (Nationwide Building Society) and £200,280 (Halifax). Although house prices continue to remain stable, experts believe that the market is experiencing a gradual downward trend.
Election Results. May’s general election result has led to an increase in buyer demand, according to Rightmove. The property portal enjoyed its busiest May ever, with 115 million visits (that’s the equivalent of every adult in the UK visiting the website twice!). In terms of new sellers, Rightmove has experienced an ‘unanticipated post-election drop in fresh property supply,’ with an 8.5% annual decline.
Regional Differences. The gap between average house prices in the north and south is now estimated to be nearly £145,000, with properties in the south selling for nearly twice those in the north.
Relocation Managers’ Advice. At Cartus, we have found that the property market has slowed down, although this is not uncommon during the holiday season. We have also found a particular divide between the north and south regions, in terms of property prices, with the south east remaining far more buoyant compared with the rest of the UK. When relocating employees in the UK, organizations should note that it is important to be realistic about asking prices to ensure a sale.