This is ‘the best sellers’ market we’ve seen in decades’

Jason Tebb
Jason Tebb

Buyer and seller confidence remains high as current market conditions continue to defy previous expectations. 

New data released by OnTheMarket (OTM) yesterday revealed that 72% of active buyers in the UK were confident that they would purchase a property within the next three months. 

The research also revealed that 78% of sellers in the UK were confident that they would sell their property within the same time period. 

More than half – 56% – of properties listed on the property portal were sold subject to contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being advertised for sale, compared with 43% in October 2020. 

Buyers and sellers now focused on January completions, but stock levels still are not there to support continued home mover demand, according to Jason Tebb, chief executive officer of OTM.

He said: October was yet another month where the velocity of the current market continued to defy gravity. Anyone who had thought that the ending of the Stamp Duty Holiday in September may have ushered in a new wave of calm was mistaken, with many of our agents continuing to report that nothing much had changed. Although the slight upturn in new instructions we saw in September continued in October, bringing with it some fresh stock for motivated movers, there still wasn’t enough stock to satisfy buyer demand. 

“However, one positive note for buyers was feedback from many agents across the UK that the trend we’d seen in previous months of fully booked ‘open house’ days followed by multiple bids above asking price within twenty-four hours has now abated. That said, for the most part it seems that it’s still a competitive environment, especially for family homes in the popular school catchment areas. 

“With the much-vaunted Budget at the end of the month amounting to quite a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ affair in terms of housing, the headlines of rising inflation throughout October seemed to be the only cloud coming over the horizon, but certainly not enough of a shadow during the month to perturb those whose plans to move were already in motion. We saw evidence of this in the number of properties that were Sold Subject To Contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being listed in October, with a very slight increase on the previous month. 

“A slight month-on-month decrease in UK average asking prices suggests that buyer affordability is stretched, with further sharp price rises unlikely. We’d suggest that, given lenders’ affordability tests on mortgage applicants, many prospective buyers have now reached the limits of their available borrowing which, in turn, provides a natural brake factor in terms of further sharp house price growth. Of course, those purchasing with a larger deposit or indeed, those who don’t require a mortgage probably won’t have such constraints, so for certain types of buyers those rules clearly don’t apply. 

“As I’ve said for the last couple of months now, this is the best sellers’ market we’ve seen in decades and represents the optimum opportunity for prospective vendors to achieve their maximum price. The continued positive sentiment from home movers is further reflected in our lead numbers for October. We delivered a record number of instant valuation enquiries last month, beating our previous best month this June. From that we again saw a record number of agent valuation leads, and overall for total valuation enquiries we achieved another record result, which was our best ever month and 36% up on our previous best month (January 2021).

“This clearly demonstrates that for agents looking to win more instructions, OnTheMarket is an increasingly valuable marketing platform as we are focusing on serious home movers.” 


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  1. AlwaysAnAgent

    I do wish Jason well and he needs to communicate exactly what is going to happen with OTM to launch itself to the next level.


    The share price is languishing again which suggests that the market cannot see, or doesn’t believe in, the story of OTM going forward. Jason’s other PR efforts need to be aimed at the “OTM of the future”.

    1. Robert_May

      My view is OTM has  taken #2 spot away from Zoopla and is now well placed to be a safe refuge for agents who, for no logical reason I can fathom, are still paying  £1100+ to Rightmove .


      The passive intermediaries and non geographic agents who pay per listing, not per branch,  don’t have to be concerned there’s a listings drought but anyone who is paying per branch really ought to be questioning the logic of paying to have nothing available listed.


      I appreciate the dilemma of competitive pressure to be on Rightmove but paying to not win instructions ( they are going to the main competitor anyway) AND paying to  have no  available stock seems to be something very much to think about.



  2. northernlandlord

    We are often reminded “past performance is no guarantee of future performance”.  Currently, the seller’s market is good but the article mentions that buyers are reaching the limits of borrowing capacity and that fully booked open house viewings are dropping off and price growth is slowing so the seller’s market won’t be so good in the future.
    With interest rates and inflation set to rise and as the full economic consequences of Covid emerge we could see repossessions rising steeply resulting in a strong buyer’s market. Estate agents sell houses so they should win either way.


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