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Research 11 August 2015

Chestertons Residential Observer - July 2015

Encouraging data from HMRC, which show the number of house sales in May rose – but we still need more homes available for sale.

Nick Barnes, Head of Research
  • Residential sale transactions in May were 11.6% higher than in the previous month but 4.5% lower than in May 2014 according to provisional figures form HMRC.
  • Britain is one of several countries anticipating a surge in interest from Chinese buyers seeking safe-haven property in the wake of stock market volatility at home. At the time of writing, around 20% had been knocked off the value of Chinese shares since mid-June, though attempts by the authorities to stem the bleeding are having some effect. However, there is also anecdotal evidence that some Chinese investors are pulling out of new-build purchases because they no longer have sufficient funds.

  • Analysis from Rightmove reveals that buyer demand remains high, with visits to the Rightmove website up by 22% in June compared to the same period a year ago. In contrast the number of properties coming to market is running at a weekly run-rate 10.6% below the same period in 2014. The biggest drop-off in fresh supply is in the first-time buyer sector with two bedrooms or fewer, where demand was already at its highest compared to available properties.

  • Oxford is rapidly becoming one of the country's hottest property markets. Research from Hometrack reveals residential property values have surged by £41,700 on average over the past year, nearly four times higher than gains in the wider UK and a whisker above those in London.

  • House prices in the city of spires jumped by 12.3% to reach an average of £380,100 in the 12 months to May.

  • A recent study from the Halifax has identified that house prices have increased, on average, by a third across British seaside towns over the past decade. During the past ten years, the average house price in seaside towns rose by 31% (£49,207) to reach £208,729. However, there is a marked north-south divide in property values between locations, with all ten of the most expensive seaside towns in southern England. Salcombe(£672,874) in Devon and Sandbanks (£614,726) in Dorset are the two most expensive seaside towns in Great Britain.

  • A new official UK-wide residential property index is set to be published for the first time in the first half of next year. Operated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it is proposed that the new UK house price index will be published via the Land Registry website providing a single and central access point for users. Further details will be made available in due course.

Download Chestertons Residential Observer - July 2015