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UK housing market sees a reverse ripple...


Historically, UK property prices have demonstrated a distinct spatial pattern over time, rising initially in a cyclical upswing in prime central London, then wider London and the South East, before spreading out nationwide. This is known as the ripple effect, and a glance at the property market suggests that history is repeating itself.


The ripple effect has been a long standing pattern within the UK property market

But house price growth in London, widely considered to be the boiler room of the residential property market, is no longer roaring, as buyers find properties increasingly unaffordable, face stricter mortgage affordability checks and higher taxes, with many looking towards areas such as the West Midlands for their next property purchases.

As many areas struggled to recover from the 2008 global financial crisis, the north-south divide returned to plague the British housing market, as London, which has long operated in its own microclimate, recovered strongly from the downturn, with house price growth in recent years outpacing the national average by some margin, adding to wide regional differences between the capital and the rest of the country.

"London, whilst existing as its own microcosm, has generally always been an indicator and instigator of the national property market as a whole, effecting change upon the rest of the country's property prices. It now seems to be undergoing a dynamic shift in its underlying economics with more and more people looking outside the capital for property and commuting inwards as the more viable option." says Andy Butts, Sales & Lettings Director at Centrick Property.

In contrast to the slowdown in the capital, reports show that the market is seeing a ‘reverse ripple’ effect, as a revival in activity in England’s regions begins to filter through into outer London areas.

The evidence suggest that towns and cities 100 miles from London are experiencing a market revival and this is pushing southwards towards London & the South East.

Rightmove's monthly House Price Index report for October seems to back this effect up, stating

"The six northern regions (North West, North East, Yorkshire & the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands and Wales) saw an 11% fall in the total available stock for sale compared to the same period in 2015, continuing the downward trend over the last few years. This reduction in choice for buyers hampers their ability to negotiate and gives sellers the confidence to both ask for higher prices and hold out for their asking price. The number of sales agreed have risen by 3% in these regions compared to the same period a year ago."



Rightmove Director, Miles Shipside observes: “While the number of new-to-the-market sellers is actually up compared to this time last year in all the northern regions, it is failing to keep pace with high buyer demand.  Agents report brisk sales in many areas, especially in the mass-market sectors. They say as long as it’s not over-priced, the right house in the right area is quickly being snapped up for close to, at, or even over the asking price.”

"In contrast, September’s figures for the four southern regions (Greater London, South East, East of England and South West) saw total available stock for sale rise by 16% compared to the same period in 2015. While sales have picked up after the summer months, the number of sales agreed is down across all four southern regions, indicative of less buyer activity than in September 2015. The average across all four regions is a fall in sales agreed of 10%."

Only time will tell of the lasting effect of this phenomenon and whether the capital will regain control of it's own housing market but for now, this means good news for those with property to sell in the West Midlands and other regional areas of the UK...

If you are thinking of selling your property or just want some further advice, call Centrick Property now or email [email protected] to organise your free, no obligation, market appraisal...



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