Demand for UK property falls in first few months of 2017

Demand for UK property falls in first few months of 2017 [Photo: vimvertigo via iStock]

More people across the UK may now be looking to rent homes rather than buy them, as a new report shows that the level of demand for buying houses has fallen somewhat in the first three months of the year. 

According to the eMoov National Hotspot Index Q1 2017, demand is lowest in Wales at present, but even London and surrounding commuter towns are seeing fewer buyers coming to market, which could suggest that more people are now renting. 

The eMoov report looks at the balance between the supply and demand for houses in each area of the UK and attributes a percentage score based on the balance between available stock and the number of properties sold, and it found that for the first quarter of the year, nationwide, demand is at 33.8 per cent. 

This represents a substantial fall in the space of just the first three months of the year. At the end of 2016, the level of demand nationwide stood at 17.56 per cent higher than it does now, showing a real change in attitude from buyers. 

In England, demand for properties remains highest, with a score of 39.4 per cent, while it sits a little over 36 per cent in Scotland. Wales is the worst performing British nation, however, with demand falling as low as 27.35 per cent as of the end of March.

The highest levels of demand at the moment are found in some of the most affordable towns and cities nationwide. In areas where more than 90 per cent of homes are classed as affordable, it seems that there are more buyers around. At present, eMoov said, Rugby, Portsmouth and Bristol are among the highest demand areas, while Aberdeen, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough see the lowest demand. 

eMoov chief executive officer Russell Quirk believes that one of the reasons for low demand in many areas could be the fact that it has become too expensive to live in cities for many people.

"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," he said.