Despite the reported market slowdown, this week property website Zoopla estimated that around half a million homes are expected to sell in the first half of 2023.
We are currently witnessing challenging market conditions, with buyer demand reportedly around 43% lower than this time last year, but according to Zoopla the number of agreed sales (sold subject to contract) are just 16% lower than a year ago.
Since last October property prices have fallen by 1% and ProperyWire suggests that the slower market may actually be more attractive to prospective buyers, with 65% more homes available than there were last year, due to the drop in demand. This means that buyers have more choice and more scope to haggle over the price too,
Speaking about the latest figures, Executive Director at Zoopla, Richard Donnell said:
“The housing market is arguably more balanced than it has been for more than three years. Levels of supply have recovered and buyers and sellers are not miles apart on where they see pricing and this means deals are being agreed at an increasing rate.
“Prices are drifting lower compared to a year ago but fears of a major downturn in prices are overdone.
“Falling mortgage rates and a strong labour market are supporting activity levels from committed movers who need to be realistic on price if they are serious about moving home in 2023.
“We expect to see levels of activity continue to steadily improve over Easter and into the summer and H2.”
Zoopla also suggest that despite the decrease in demand, first-time buyers and ‘second-steppers’ are still looking for homes and year-on-year there has been an increase of 5% in the share of sales at the bottom 40% of the market – along with a 4% drop in the share of sales at the top 40% of the market. Overall, UK house price growth currently stands at 4.1%.
Speaking to PropertyWire about the news, National Sales Managing Director at Leaders Romans Group, Kevin Shaw said:
“As spring has sprung, the daffodils are out and we’re entering the traditional season of house moves.
“Added to that, an increase of ‘sold’ signs is providing some encouragement, as is the fact that house price correction has now taken place, interest rates and mortgage rates are unlikely to go much higher and lenders are competing for borrowing so rates.
“We have an improving viewings-to-offer rate which is slightly lower than a traditionally good year but significantly higher than the depths of the market post Brexit.
“Importantly, we’re seeing few undecided sellers and buyers: those that are in the market today are serious movers.
“Furthermore, the second hand market will also receive a boost from the end today of End of Help to Buy, which will mean many first time buyers opting for used properties in place of brand new homes.”
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