Our minds right now may be as much on mistletoe as moving home, but the housing market isn’t taking a break for Christmas. Although it is changing its appearance.
The latest figures from the estate and letting agents on the front line, via their professional trade body Propertymark, show that after 18 months of strongly rising prices, the sales market is now firmly in the control of buyers. Yes, it’s now a buyer’s market.
What is a ‘buyer’s market’?
For property aficionados the answer is obvious but if you are not accustomed to the way house prices work, here’s a brief explanation.
When there are more buyers than homes on the housing market, as was the case from early 2021 until very recently, then sellers rule the roost. They can sit firm and, sometimes, just wait for the offers to roll in. This is why for much of this year, homes routinely sold for over the advertised asking prices with multiple offers as buyers competed to secure the property.
Now that has changed, Propertymark reports that 72 percent of sales were secured below the asking price in November. That’s because agents have reported an average of 33 properties on sale by each branch. That’s a whopping 74 per cent increase in homes to choose from since the start of 2022.
Just as that was happening, the number of new buyers registering per branch dropped to 52 in the past month. As recently as August, the figure was 86 per branch on average.
So we’re now in a housing market where there are as many or more homes on sale than there are potential homebuyers. That’s when the pendulum swings to become a buyers’ market, with purchasers having a wider choice of homes to view and more time to do so, part and parcel of that is the reality that they tend to put in offers below the asking price and negotiate a house price.
Housing market: still a good chance of selling
If your home is on the housing market already or being prepared for an early 2023 listing, don’t despair. Clearly the market is tougher now, mostly thanks to rising interest rates for buyers with mortgages, but there’s still a good reason to proceed with a sale.
This is undoubtedly a sobering end to 2022 and a sign that the next 12 months will be challenging. Never has it been more important to have informed opinion and data from the agents who daily live and breathe property. An experienced agent will guide you through the process ensuring everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Call me if you are thinking of selling in 2023 so we can discuss.