By Legal Futures Associate Landmark Information Group
Data from the latest edition of Landmark Information Group’s Property Trends Report has highlighted that the sustained imbalance of ‘supply versus demand’ continues to be the dominant pressure on activity levels in the England and Wales’ residential property industry.
The report, which reflects on market activity during October, November and December of 2021, shows that demand continued to outstrip supply, with listings down 7% in October and 6% in December. Only November reported comparable volumes to 2019, however this is deceptive as the parliamentary elections and the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement in November 2019 led to an unusually subdued property market, meaning Q4 2021 is only comparable to these unusually slow previous market conditions.
Legal completion volumes dropped by an average of 18% in the last quarter compared to 2019 data, which was to be expected following the final Stamp Duty Land Tax incentive deadline in September when completion volumes leapt 44% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Property Listings: Last quarter, new property listings remained subdued when compared to the same period in 2019: -7% in October, level in November and -6% in December. This is against a backdrop of high demand, where a large proportion of properties coming to market are being sold very quickly, creating dual pressures upon both stock levels and prices.
Sold Subject to Contract: For properties converting to Sold Subject to Contract, the data more closely reflected SSTC data from 2019: October reported a 9% decrease, while November was 5% up and December was a 6% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Legal Conveyancing: Property search order volumes were marginally higher than 2019 figures in October, at 5% up, while this decreased in November and December due to market effects, with data showing activity was 9% and 2% lower, respectively, when compared to pre-pandemic volumes.
Completions: Data shows that completions overall were on average 18% lower in Q4 of 2021 versus 2019. Completions were 30% lower in October compared to 2019, following September’s significant rush to complete ahead of the end of the SDLT incentive, which saw figures 44% higher compared to the same period in 2019. Completions were however just 6% behind 2019 data in December, as conveyancers worked hard to complete as many transactions as possible ahead of Christmas.
Simon Brown, CEO of Landmark Information Group said, “The figures in our latest Property Trends Report are a case of assessing perceptions versus reality. While the data shows a closer alignment to pre-pandemic figures, we must remember that November and December data in 2019 was far from typical, due to the elections and Brexit agreements, which slowed conditions at that time. The market needs an injection of new listings to really help boost overall conditions and reduce the pressures now facing agents with historically low stock levels.”
Spanning property listings, sold subject to contract, legal conveyancing and completions, the data behind this report is extracted from Landmark Information Group’s business entities, which have touchpoints across the whole UK property market transaction pipeline. It therefore offers a truly unified view of the whole England and Wales property market.
The Landmark Property Trends Report provides cross-market trend analysis for the residential property market pipeline in England and Wales and assesses transaction movements across the estate agency and conveyancing sectors.
For more information on Landmark Information Group, telephone 0844 844 9960, or visit www.landmark.co.uk.