11% Drop in Leeds Homes ‘For Sale’ in Last 5 Months. What does this mean for Leeds property owners?

With most Leeds families home schooling their children in lockdown and the forthcoming Stamp Duty Holiday deadline on 31st March, less Leeds properties have been coming onto the Leeds property market since the New Year. This has prompted an 11% drop in the supply of homes for sale in Leeds compared to September 2020.

For the past couple of decades, like clockwork, Leeds estate agents’ busiest times for putting property onto the market is the new year to Easter rush, with a smaller flurry of new properties coming onto the market in the mid/late summer. Yet, since the ending of lockdown 1.0 in the late spring 2020, nothing has been normal about the Leeds property market.

Throughout the summer, the number of properties coming onto the market in Leeds steadily rose to its peak in September and the number of properties then becoming sold subject to contract (stc) rose even higher(and whilst statistics don’t exist for the properties sold stc,anecdotal evidence suggests there were just under 50% more Leeds properties sold stc in the last six months of 2020, compared to the same 6 months in 2019).

However, back to the number of properties for sale…

the peak of the number of Leeds properties on the market in autumn was 2,339 - that now stands at 2,068.

The first lockdown caused many Leeds homeowners to want to move with the need for extra space to work from home and in some cases larger gardens. This was further exacerbated by Leeds home movers also trying to take advantage of the Stamp Duty Holiday to save themselves money on this tax.

This meant many more Leeds properties came onto the market (more than a “normal” year) in the last 6 months of 2020. However, those Leeds home movers motivated to move for the extra space/save money on the tax, did so in the summer/autumn and have already placed their home on the market (and are probably by now sold stc rushing to get their house purchases through before the deadline on the tax savings).

So, how does Leeds compare to other property markets, and what does this reduction in Leeds properties on the market mean to Leeds homeowners and landlords?

There are 4% less properties on the market today in Leeds, compared to 12 months ago.

When I compared that to the national picture, according to Zoopla, there are 12% less properties on the market today (compared to a year ago).

However, the complete opposite is taking place in London. There are currently 47,900 apartments for sale in London compared to January 2020, when there were only 32,600 – a massive rise of 46.9% … all the more interesting when there are only 15.1% more London semi-detached houses for sale and 1.8% more London detached homes over the same 12-month period. The jump in London apartments for sale is being pushed by an upsurge of London up-sizers eager to trade their city living apartment up to suburban houses, and a small handful of panicky London buy to let investors who are wanting to exit the London property market following falling rents for apartments. Looking closer to home, there are…

7% more apartments for sale in Leeds than a year ago, whilst there are 19% less detached homes.

So, whilst there are some differences between the supply of individual types of property in Leeds (e.g. apartments vs detached houses), the overall reduction in the number (i.e. supply) of properties for sale can only mean one thing, when there is a reduction in the supply of anything and demand remains stable, this will mean continued upward pressure on Leeds house prices in the short term (although I suspect there will be some downward pressure on Leeds apartments with that level of increase in supply – maybe some interesting ‘opportunities’ for all you Leeds landlords?).

Will overall demand for Leeds property continue to be stable?

Lockdown 3.0 will probably cause another wave of Leeds people who want to move home (thus increasing demand). The last property crash (the Credit Crunch in 2009) was caused by a huge increase in the supply of properties for sale when people lost their jobs and interest rates were much higher. People couldn’t afford their mortgages and so dumped their homes onto the market all at the same time – causing an oversupply of property for sale and hence house prices dropped.

Compared to the 2,068 properties for sale in Leeds today, at the height of the Credit Crunch in January 2009, there were an eyewatering 5,586 properties for sale in Leeds.

It was this increase in the level of property for sale in Leeds (mirrored across the whole of the UK) that caused property prices to drop between 16% and 19% (depending on the type of property) in Leeds over the 12 to 14 months of the Credit Crunch. So, as long as there is no sudden change in the demand or supply of properties and interest rates remain at their current ultra-low level – the medium-term prospects for the Leeds property market look good.

If you are a Leeds homeowner or a Leeds buy to let landlord and want to chat about the future of the Leeds property market – do drop me a line.

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