The Month in Numbers – May 2012

With all the main reports in for May we can now summarise the market which in a word is ‘chaotic’.

Asking prices have remained steady although there is still an upwards creep. Sale prices have held whilst the gap between the two grows to 34% – it’s never been wider. (read previous notes about why you must be careful comparing Rightmove and Land Registry data). The long term average is now 25%.

Sale volumes are most worrying. In the rush to beat the end of the Stamp Duty holiday at the end of March at the lower end of the market sales registered with HM Land Registry spiked in the £200k-£250k range by 48% compared to last year. Meanwhile, in anticipation of the ‘moral indignation’ that would be heaped upon those who buying a home over £2m in the April Budget sales of these properties fell by 40%.

Overall, sales volumes were up around a quarter compared to last year but drawing sensible conclusions is not easy with artificial factors swinging the market this way and that.