The latest reports on prices and housing market activity shows Yorkshire holding steady for now. Sharon Dale reports
Overall annual price growth in England and Wales slipped into negative territory with a -0.3 per cent fall, according to the Home.co.uk asking price index for March.
But while Greater London, the South East, the South West and East of England regions are undergoing price corrections, Yorkshire and other northern and western regions are still showing positive growth.
Yorkshire and the North West have both seen a 3.4 per cent growth in average asking prices, over the last twelve months, though Home.co.uk say momentum is waning in the North West.
Spring optimism lifted prices over the last month in Wales, Scotland and all English regions apart from London and the East of England.
London’s annualised losses edged back from 3.3 per cent to 3.2 per cent and remains at 6.9 per cent since the start of the slide in values in May 2016.
Asking price falls in the South East have also eased slightly by 2.3 per cent year-on-year but worsened markedly in the East by 2.7 per cent as a slowdown begins to bite.
The typical time on market for unsold property in the East of England has risen by 46 per cent since March 2018.
The area with the greatest gains is Wales with annualised growth of 5.8 per cent, followed by the West Midlands with 4.9 per cent.
The West and East Midlands markets continue to slow and the typical time on the market for homes there is 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
Supply in both regions is up and Home.co.uk expect supply and stock levels to increase further over the coming months.
Overall, supply of residential property for sale in England and Wales is down by four per cent, which Home.co.uk say shows increased caution on the part of vendors, while the total stock for sale has increased by 6.4 per cent year-on-year.
In March 2018, the annualised rate of increase of home prices was two per cent; today the same measure is -0.3 per cent and continues to trend below zero.
Home.co.uk believe that headline figures suggest that 2019 is a year of house price correction, depending on where regions are what they say is a property growth-correction cycle.
There is good news for the ailing London property market, which was the first to take off following the global financial crisis and was the first to see a drop in prices.
“The corollary is that London will also be the first to recover and the initial green shoots are evident in both rapidly rising rents in many boroughs and a significant reduction of stock for sale over the last twelve months,” says Home.co.uk director Doug Shephard,
“The corrections taking place in the South East, East and, latterly, the South West have further to go. Moreover, the next domino to fall will likely be the East Midlands, followed by the West Midlands. Both regions are currently transitioning from the growth phase of the property cycle to the corrective phase.
“During the last year the median time on market for unsold property has risen by 14 per cent in the East Midlands and 15 per cent in the West Midlands, while price growth is trending down in both regions.”
He adds that the first indication of a slowdown in the North West was apparent last month and the trend is becoming established.
For the time being, Yorkshire, the North East, Scotland and Wales have not shown significant increases in marketing times.
Home prices in the North East still show no signs of recovery, which is good news for first-time buyers.
Prices there rose 0.5 per cent over the last twelve months and, during the last ten years, prices have actually fallen 2.6 per cent, according to Home.co.uk figures.
The latest report from the RICS, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, says that Yorkshire’s housing market is continuing to feel the effects of the Brexit debacle.
Buyer enquiries, sales and the volume of properties coming to market all fell last month.
RICS members cited a lack of stock holding back buyer-demand as the next biggest challenge after Brexit.
The report also reveals that the average time taken to sell a property, from listing to completion, in Yorkshire was 21 weeks. The nationwide average is 19.4 weeks.
James Brown, of Norman F Brown estate agents, which has branches in Richmond, Bedale and Leyburn, says: “The market remains subdued due to Brexit uncertainty. However, values seem to be holding up in general due to a lack of stock.”
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, adds: “Although activity in the housing market continues to be weighted down by the lack of available stock, changes in the tax regime and affordability, the RICS survey makes it pretty clear that the ongoing uncertainty around how Brexit will play out is the critical factor influencing both buyers and sellers.
“With little sign that the issue will be resolved anytime soon, it could prove to be a challenging spring for the housing market and the wider economy.”