We know many in the industry are complaining that after a brisk start to the New Year, people aren’t moving to the usual high, springtime level. This appears to be the case throughout the country, not just the north.

So what has changed? Well, those clever data analysts at TwentyCi have just published their Property & Homemover Report: Q1 – 2018. The key facts are:

• Confidence is building. Nationally, property exchanges are up nearly 8% compared to Q1 2017, suggesting a continued building of confidence, stability and momentum in the market. Following the usual Q4 slowdown, Q1 has seen 100,000 more properties come on to the market.
• London is changing. Within inner London, asking prices are down 4% year on year, but the number of exchanges is up 8% in the same period. Prices are probably subdued by the pathway to Brexit and the international makeup of the market.
• Smaller homes are on the rise. Over half of all exchanges in Q1 were made on terraced and semidetached houses, up 17% year on year. Nearly 1 in 5 exchanges were represented by a flat, up 10% year on year, reflecting the change in the composition of our housing stock, with flats dominating our large towns and cities.
• Baby boomers are on the move. The Silver Economy is still showing good levels of growth year on year, with 46% more property exchanges in Q1 2018 compared to Q1 2017. The active growth in the property market for the 55+ age groups is undoubtedly fuelled by a combination of pension drawdown and equity retrieval as the baby boom generation accesses the wealth accumulated in their properties and pensions.
• Commuting can be cost-effective. The reduction and scheduled ending of Severn Crossing toll charges is already showing significant benefits for those commuting from South Wales to Bristol, with house prices dropping by up to £6k for every mile you move further across the border. And all for less than an hour’s commute.

Whilst this may at first seem to conflict with what you are finding locally, it may be there are ‘knock on’ effects appearing from a combination of the above. For example the fact that smaller homes moves are on the rise may benefit the smaller van mover without impacting into a chain? Not sure, but if you want to know more you can download the full report at: