Uk houses, REalyse

Amidst winter hibernation in the UK residential property market, CEO Gavriel Merkado explores the areas that are most impacted by the festive season of Christmas, as well as which have the least amount of sales transactions in December.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This year we took a look at how house prices have changed historically in the month of December. The winter months are known by many to have fewer transactions and somewhat lower prices as the delays caused by the holidays, increased personal spending and general gloominess impact the housing market. 

We thought it would be interesting to see if historically there are some areas that are impacted more or less than others over the month of December and the festive season. 

Sure enough, that’s what we found.

Looking at 349 local authorities in England & Wales over the past 10 years, we looked at the average price change for the month of December, using a repeat sales index. 

The biggest increases were found in the London Borough of Brent, the Isles of Scilly, the City of London and the London Boroughs of Hackney and Newham. 

The Isles of Scilly are interesting. As an archipelago off the coast of Cornwall, they are further south than any other part of the UK. So it could be that in the cold month of December people from the rest of the UK finally decide to try to head somewhere a little warmer and push house prices up. Though, admittedly, winter on Tresco Island (pictured above) doesn’t look any cheerier than the rest of the UK…

Brent is well known for the Brent Cross Shopping Center, which undoubtedly is seeing an increase in traffic in the festive season of December. So, again, perhaps there is something Christmas related. Could it even be that people move closer to the shopping center in December so that they don’t have to travel as far that year to do their shopping? 

The other boroughs of London we can’t think of any particularly obvious or funny reasons why they might increase in price the most in December, but if you have any ideas then do let us know!

On the other side there were plenty of places that on average over the past 10 years have gone down in price during December. The North West and West of England seem to be the most negatively impacted in December with Preston, West Lancashire and Burnley in the North West facing average declines, and North Devon and West Somerset in the West also typically having house price declines over December. 

Why the West and North West? Well, we aren’t really sure. Looking at data for West Somerset shows that overall for the past 10 years prices have been increasing, it might just be that December just isn’t a nice time to buy houses. That said, if you’re looking for a Christmas offer then these places might be the ones to look out for! 

Finally, looking at some of the major towns and cities. We can see that Manchester and Birmingham tend to have reasonable price increases during December, whereas Liverpool and Newcastle tend to see price decreases. The only commonality that we can tell from these cities is that those areas that are further inland seem to do better, whereas those facing the sea (or very close to the sea in the case of Newcastle) seem to fare worse. 

Intrigued to see what other festive trends you can find in the UK residential market on the REalyse platform? Sign up here for a free trial and find out more. 

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