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The anatomy of the housing market in England and Wales

Housing markets can sometimes be tricky to understand, but put simply, it boils down to three things; houses, people and money. How these three things interact with each other ultimately affects how property prices change and how often people move, which forms the basis of the housing market.

There are of course lots of variables and combinations within these three main factors. For example, you may have a market dominated by retirees with less disposable income, owning and living in reasonably large properties meaning that price growth and transaction levels are likely to be fairly low.

At the other end of the spectrum, there may be an area with more compact properties; likely to be a city, with younger families with a higher disposable income. Comparatively, these areas are likely to see relatively high price growth and transaction levels.

So what does the property market in England and Wales look like? If we look at the first influencing factor, housing stock, we can see that the most dominant type of property is a 3 bed semi-detached home. There are 11.4 million of these which account for 20.8% of all homes.

The demographic of people that make up the area is the second influence. The average age of a person in England and Wales is 39 and a typical home comprises a family with dependent children. Nationally, 29.1% of homes have dependent children living in them.

The third significant factor affecting the property market is money, specifically annual earnings. Average annual earnings in England and Wales are £30,504 per year. The one factor that is arguably more important than annual income is the house-to-price-earnings ratio. This shows how relatively affordable, or not, a property is in the area.

Nationally, house prices are 9.5 times the average earnings. The least affordable region of the country is London where prices are 16.6 times higher than earnings and the most affordable region is the North East where prices are 5.7 times earnings.

Looking at the housing market from the view of these three main factors makes it much easier to understand how and why things happen, although there are of course, other influential factors from both an individual area and national view.

If you are thinking about selling or letting your property then speak with the team at your local branch who can advise on the local market in more detail. We also have mortgage advisers who can discuss your individual situation to see what you can afford. Find your local branch at andrewsonline.co.uk/branches.