Calderdale sales volumes – April 2018
Although sales prices are now rising at what appears to be the healthiest rate for a decade, there has not been a comparable increase in sales volumes.
The chart above looks at the number of residential sales each year between 2006 (mid way through the last boom) and October 2017 (the latest available data). The data comes from the Governments UK House Price Index which is based on sales data collected from HM Land Registry.
In 2006 and 2007 and indeed the years running up to that, Calderdale was seeing around 5,500 residential sales completing each year. Those of us that remember this era will recall how easy it was to get a mortgage and how risky some of the lending seemed to be.
In 2008 and 2009 the market crashed and in the years that followed sales volumes fell to well under half of the previous levels. 2013 and 2014 saw the start of something of a recovery with sales volumes rising and over the past three years volumes have been steady at around 3,250. But even though times are now relatively good with sales prices increasing in Calderdale, there has not been a corresponding uplift in sales volumes. There seem to be two reasons underlying this.
Despite the Halifax recently saying that the competitive mortgage market has made home loans their most affordable in a decade, mortgage approvals are low by historical standards. So for whatever reasons, be that economic uncertainty of the future or lack of a big enough deposit, buyers are not taking out mortgages.
But that is only half of the story. The RICS, a leading property related professional organisation, polls a number of its members on a regular basis about the state of the housing market. The March 2018 UK Residential Market Survey continued to point to subdued momentum in the market. Most notably the average stock levels on estate agents books is ‘within a whisker’ of an all time low. So there are simply too few properties on the market to meet the demand.
Much of the information on the housing market is piblished at a National level and is London centric, which may now sound depressing as prices in London look to be falling. But at long last prices in Calderdale now look to be rising, prices and affordability levels are better than the National average (being some of the best in the UK), and mortgage affordability is good. So when compared to the past decade now is a very good time to buy or sell.
And whilst we are talking about sales volumes, we have also done some analysis on the busiest times for buying and selling proeprty. The chart above also uses data from the HM Land Registry, UK House Price Index. It looks at the sales that are registered each month and has averaged these over a ten year period. So in any given year, 6% of that years sales are completed in January, about 7% in February, etc..
That is not the whole story though as it usually takes about three months from a sale being agreed to the sale being completed and registered at HM Land Registry. So the completions being recorded in January relate to sales agreed in the previous October, those in February relate to the previous November etc.. The chart shows an annual cycle. The difference is not as dramatic as some would suggest, but the data supports the often held belief that Spring is the start of the busier time of year for the housing market.