Buyer demand climbed in Q1 ahead of pandemic market freeze


The latest buyer demand index from has revealed that buyer demand climbed in Q1 of this year, up 2% when compared to the previous year and on the previous quarter alone, while in London demand lifted by 7% annually and 3% quarter to quarter.

Both nationally and in London, Q1 of this year saw demand exceed levels seen throughout all quarters of 2019.

Most in-demand
Where current buyer demand is concerned, Falkirk (65%), Bristol (62%), Dartford (61%), Glasgow (60%) and Sheffield (59%) were the hottest markets pre-pandemic lockdown, whilst Derry (+12%), Belfast (+8%), Basingstoke (+7%), Birkenhead (+6%) and High Wycombe (+6%) enjoyed the largest quarterly uplift when compared to the end of last year.

On an annual basis, Woking (+15%), High Wycombe (+12%), Bristol (+10%), Basildon (+10%) and Reading (+9%) had enjoyed the largest bump in buyer demand when compared to the first quarter of last year.

In London, Bexley (64%), Waltham Forest (57%) and Havering (54%) were amongst the most in-demand boroughs with buyers, with Ealing (+11%), Southwark (+7%) and Bromley (+7%) enjoying the largest uplift on the previous quarter.

Ealing and Waltham Forest also enjoyed some of the biggest increases on an annual basis, up +14% and +13% respectively.

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Least in-demand
Aberdeen remains the least in-demand location for homebuyer demand by far, at just 7% in the first quarter of this year. Blackpool (25%), Stockton-on-Tees (26%), Darlington (27%) and Middlesbrough (29%) were also amongst some of the areas for the lowest buyer demand.

Despite a wider Boris market bounce, Exeter (-5%), Hove (-4%) and Dudley (-3%) saw the largest decline in buyer demand when compared to quarter four of last year, while despite a strong quarterly uplift, Derry saw the largest decline when compared to the start of last year at -12%.

The City of London (10%) was the least in-demand borough for current demand, joining Camden (-2%) with the largest quarterly decline, as well as seeing the largest annual drop at -8%.

Founder and CEO of, Colby Short, said: “A painful reminder of what could have been, with so many early market indicators suggesting a very strong year was on the cards for the UK property market after months of Brexit uncertainty.

Those that did brave a bleak political outlook to push on with a purchase may not have had the last laugh but looking at where we are now, they will certainly be glad they choose to transact rather than wait it out.

A brief few months of strong activity early this year has now given way to a full market freeze and with no concrete view on when this will thaw, we expect to see data around buyer demand for the second quarter of this paint a very different story.”

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