Landmark’s latest property trends report shows that weak property listings pipeline 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 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.”