Fall in housing sales as the South fares worst

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Salford in the North West saw a huge 23% increase in the number of housing sales in the first eight months of 2015, but the picture wasn’t so rosy across the rest of the country

Home sales in the first eight months of 2015 were 8% lower than the same period in 2014, according to new research by Halifax.

It said that all regions saw a fall in sales in 2015, but there was a clear North / South divide, with housing sales falling more in the South.

The biggest decline was in Greater London (-14%), while the smallest fall was in the North West (-3%).

Sales down in towns

More than eight of out every 10 towns saw a decline in housing sales in 2015, compared to the previous year when virtually all recorded a rise.

The biggest rises in sales between 2014 and 2015 were seen in Salford in the North West (23%) and Pontefract in West Yorkshire (20%). It was notable that this year all 10 towns experiencing the biggest increases in sales were outside southern England.

Market Rasen in Lincolnshire saw the biggest fall in sales with a 30% decline between the first eight months of 2014 and the same period in 2015. Seventeen towns saw a significant fall of 25% or more, while seven of the 10 towns recording the biggest declines were in London and the South East.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “Activity in the housing market has generally softened in 2015 with sales in the first eight months of the year down by 8% compared with the same period in 2014. While sales have declined in all regions, there is a clear North versus South pattern with sales falling most in southern regions. An acute shortage of properties for sales has also added to the constraints on activity.

“Nonetheless, there remain substantial local variations in housing activity with a small number of towns recording significant increases. These towns are largely in the North and are where prices are relatively low.”