eMoov publishes National Property Hotspots Index: Q4, 2015

National property demand remained static during Q4 of 2015 (41%), showing no movement from Q3. However over the course of last year, demand for property across the nation increased by +14% overall.

The latest Property Hotspots Index, produced by eMoov.co.uk, records the change in supply and demand for the most populated locations across the UK, by monitoring the total number of properties sold in comparison to those on sale.

Property Hotspots, Q4, 2015 – Highest Climbers
The London Borough of Hounslow enjoyed the biggest growth in demand between Q3 and Q4 of 2015. With demand up +50% and an average house price marginally over £300,000, the borough looks set to continue this upward trend, with prices having increases by 12% already over the course of 2015.

The likely factors behind this increase are almost certainly the ongoing infrastructural and economic developments in the borough. The London Borough of Hounslow is due to profit considerably thanks to its close proximity to the Crossrail development, as well as the delayed decision of the third runway at Heathrow, which should also see property demand revived for the immediate future.

Camden also enjoyed an increase in demand towards the end of 2015 (+15%), this said it is still a far cry from 2014, with the borough taking the 10th spot for the biggest decrease year on year (-8%). Despite being home to one of the most expensive average London house prices, demand for property in Richmond upon Thames has also seen an increase, up +17% since Q3.

Leicester seems to be enjoying more than its football team’s current Premiership form, with property demand up +43% over the quarter and +62% year on year, it’s the second highest climber since Q3 and the third during 2015 overall. So it would seem whilst Vardy was on course to break a Premier League scoring record, property demand in the city was enjoying a similar run of form.

The North West also remains fairly buoyant with the Wirral (+36%), Wigan (+15%) and Oldham (+14%) all making the top 10 highest climbers since Q3.

There is a glimmer of hope for an otherwise poor performing North East, with Northumberland seeing an increase of +20% despite making the top 10 coldest spots, joined by North Tyneside (+17%).

Property Hotspots, Q4, 2015 – YoY Highest Climbers
Throughout 2015 those likely to have increased their property potential the most are homeowners in the North West. In stark contrast to those in the North East, demand in the North West has continued to grow, evident as half of the year’s biggest climbers are located in the region (Sefton +89%, Bolton +63%, Wirral +58%, Rochdale 45% and Trafford +44%) With continuing demand growth it is likely house prices in the North West will follow, so those looking for an investment may want to consider the region for a quick return in the coming year.

Leicester are on course to secure two top three finish this year, with demand up +62% in 2015 making it the year’s third highest climber. North Lanarkshire (+59%) provides a glimmer of hope for an otherwise declining Scottish property market as the fourth highest climber, whilst Hounslow is the only London borough to make the year’s biggest climbers, with demand up +43% in 2015. Dudley (+44%) and Birmingham (+40%) complete the top 10 highest climbers year on year, as the two representatives from the Midlands.

Property Hotspots, Q4, 2015 – Top 10 Hottest Spots
Despite the run up to the festive period, London’s outer boroughs and commuter belt remained hot for property demand in Q4. Bexley is once again the most in demand property location in the UK, with demand still at a staggering 79%. To the east of the capital, Havering (71%) and Barking and Dagenham (69%) also rank highly, joined by the London Borough of Hillingdon (66%) to the west and Sutton (66%) south of the river, as the final borough to make the top 10.

Each of the boroughs making the top 10 hotspots currently offer an average house price lower than the London average. However as the capital’s outer boroughs continue to outperform their more central neighbours, these five in particular will be the ones to watch in 2016, where an increase in prices is concerned.

Elsewhere, as property in the commuter belt continues to increase in demand, Cambridge climbs from seventh to the second hottest spot in the country, with demand at 75%. Watford (71%) and Guildford (65%) both retain their top 10 status and are joined for the first time by Bedford, where demand is currently at 67%.

Bedford may seem too far from the capital to be classed as commutable for some, but a high speed rail link of under 40 minutes to St Pancras makes it a realistic option for many, highlighting the growing expansion of the London commuter belt for the average homebuyer.

Bristol remains the only area outside the South East to clinch a place in the top 10. With demand at 74% it retains its title as the third hottest spot in the country, with demand consistently strong throughout 2015. The continuing development of Bristol airport is no doubt a factor in the city’s increasing property demand, with one terminal expansion already complete and another one due to be this year, the airport has seen passenger footfall increase by 4.8 million people in 17 years.

Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, commented:

“I believe 2016 will see demand for London property continue to decline from the inside out and, as the exodus of buyers to the outer boroughs and commuter zones continues to build, the demand for property will inevitably intersect with the supply of housing available.

“When this does happen prices will rise and commuters may be forced even further afield. Bedford making the top 10 for the first time highlights the lengths London buyers are now pushed to, as they try to find affordable homes in locations with extremely fast rail links.

“Elsewhere, Bristol would be my pick of the bunch for 2016. It has consistently ranked in the top 10 for national demand during 2015, holding its own against the London bubble, all with an average house price half that of the capital’s. With the ongoing development of the airport and the economic benefits this brings the city, I think Bristol will remain in high demand for 2016.”