Housing market starting to improve for buyers, agents say

The latest Propertymark Housing Insight report reveals that the number of new buyers registering per member branch dipped to 64 in October – down from 83 the month before.

The figure represents a 5% year-on-year drop when compared to October 2021’s 67.

The average number of viewings per property were also down last month to just over three, while new instructions dropped to an average of nine per member, having risen to 12 last month. However, nine new instructions per member represents the average for the last 12 months.

The average number of properties available to buy per member branch held steady at 30 in October. Sales agreed dropped to seven, down from 10 in September. In addition, 69% of branches had most sales agreed below asking price last month, compared to a low of just 15% in March; however, demand remains higher than usual considering the pre-pandemic average was 78%.

Nathan Emerson, Propertymark chief executive, said: “For the first time, our figures indicate that we are on the cusp of seeing the sales market hand back purchasing power to buyers, which is a trend we haven’t seen in months as the market was very much in the seller’s favour.

“Signs of balance within the market is also being seen as competition for homes starts to slow, which will allow the number of properties available to buy to fall back in line and a return to a more realistic and sustainable market.”

Meanwhile, in the letting market, an average of 85 new applicants were registered per member branch in October – down significantly (42%) on the previous month’s high of 147, but still above the pre-pandemic (2018-2019) average for October of 72.

Propertymark members reported having an average of nine properties available for rent per branch in October, down slightly on the previous month’s figure of 11.

October’s report also revealed that rent rises are becoming less common; 68% of member branches reported month-on-month rent prices increasing during the month – down again since a high of 82% in July.

“We are now seeing a slight decrease in the number of prospective tenants registered per branch as due to the ongoing lack of supply, a hike in rent prices was seen across the UK,” Emerson said. “This should start to ease pressures on rents at a crucial time for many as the cost-of-living crisis continues to pinch at people’s finances.”



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