It’s A Buyers’ Market As Demand Drops By More Than A Third

The slowing housing market meant two thirds of sales agreed in November were below asking price.

The latest report from Propertymark said 72% of branches made a majority of their sales last month below the level the client was seeking. This compares to a low of 15% in March, and a pre-pandemic average of 78%.

The report from also revealed that the number of new buyers registering per member branch fell to 52 in November, down from a high of 86 in August.

In further evidence that the housing market has slowed sharply, Propertymark said competition had dropped by more than a third, from a high of 11 new buyers to every new property instructed in a member branch, to only seven.

Further signs of the faltering market can be seen by viewing as the average number per property fell to 2.6, and typical agreed sales fell to six in November from 10 in September.

Meanwhile, there were an average of 33 homes for sale per branch in November, a 74% increase since the start of the year.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said: “The sales market is firmly back in the hands of buyers who have been on the back foot for 18 months.

Nathan Emerson

“More property is available but the competition between those looking has cooled substantially. For those motivated to sell, good, solid buyers are still prominent.

As far as the rental market is concerned, the number of agents reporting higher rents fell below 50% for the first time since February 2021, to 49% from a high of 82% in July, Propertymark said. The remaining 51% said rents fell or were unchanged month-on-month.

The supply-demand imbalance in the PRS has pushed up rental values, although the number of available properties to rent edged up in November, to an average of 11 per branch from nine a month earlier.

Competition among tenants also dropped: an average of 77 new applicants were registered per member branch compared with September’s high of 147, although this is still above the pre-pandemic average.

Emerson added: “As for lettings, we are starting to seeing a decrease in demand, the knock-on effect is that fewer agents are seeing rent rises.

“It’s possible that prices have peaked, and landlords are well aware that any more rises won’t necessarily be achieved. This is not all good news however, as landlords costs are still rising, leaving many facing a very real possibility of making a loss.”

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