More Property Listed to Let than for Sale

The latest Quarterly Property Index from Experian has revealed that the number of properties listed ‘to let’ in the UK increased by 13% in Q3 (July-September) 2013, compared to the same quarter last year.

Compared to the past three years, the number of properties appearing for rent has increased by 42%.

The analysis also showed that the number of properties coming to market for sale saw a 7% growth in the same period, and 10% increase in the past three years.

Jonathan Westley, managing director of Consumer Information Services at Experian UK & Ireland, said: “Significant growth in the rental market could be a sign of the on-going struggle to get onto the home ownership ladder, but it is also consistent with the pickup in buy-to-let activity over the past year. With that in mind, the continuing increase of properties for sale at the top end of the market may be driven by interest from both buy-to-let investors, as well as foreign investors.

“Our analysis suggests greater choice for first time buyers, so it will be interesting to see what our data reveals in the coming months as the Government’s Help to Buy scheme gets going. As we await the impact on the property market, this insight is vital for lenders wanting to understand better the pressures or changes impacting their customers.”

The increase in properties for sale across the UK continued to be led by homes valued at more than £500,000 – up 13% in Q3 2013 year on year – with every region except the North East seeing an increase in this price band. The majority of these properties were in London and the South East (33% and 20% of all high end homes listed for sale in the UK). The biggest year-on-year increase came from the West Midlands which saw the number of homes priced at £500,000 or more increase by 24% from Q3 2012 to Q3 2013.

The number of more affordable homes for sale (those priced at less than £100,000) increased at a slower rate – up 7% during the same period.

Scotland was the only area to buck the nationwide rental trend, witnessing a decline in the number of properties coming on to the rental market over the last year. The number of properties up for sale was up 16% though – and was one of the cheapest places to buy a home in the UK, with the second largest number of properties for sale under £100,000.