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The market is tough but buyer & seller sentiment remains strong

The market is tough but buyer & seller sentiment remains strong

OnTheMarket’s latest ‘Property Sentiment Index’ which analyses data and survey results across the month has just been released and makes interesting reading in this challenging market for both sellers and buyers.

Key points:

-          73% of active buyers in the UK were confident that they would purchase a property within the next 3 months

-          65% of sellers in the UK were confident that they would sell their property within the next 3 months

-          42% of UK properties were Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being advertised for sale, compared with 61% in May 2022

-          Sellers must price sensitively if they are pricing to sell

Despite a decline in transaction numbers in April, rising transaction and mortgage approval numbers in March indicated that the market had shaken off the travails of the autumn and the fallout from the mini-Budget, with house prices continuing to soften slightly and settle into a ‘new normal’. Mortgage pricing also calmed, with borrowers accepting that rates are going to be higher than has been typical over the past few years. However, it would appear that volatility in the housing market is not fully behind us, with the latest news on inflation sending Swap rates higher and increasing the price of fixed-rate mortgages once again.

That said, buyer and seller sentiment was not rocked during May. OTM data for May shows 73% of UK buyers were confident that they’d purchase a property within the next three months, compared to 70% in April. It’s no real surprise that buyer confidence is strong given that prices are softening in some areas. There’s more choice of stock than has been the case for a while and if you can afford to buy, now is a great time to make a move. Although some buyers will inevitably be worried about higher mortgage rates, there seems to be a growing realisation of the need to adapt to a new, elevated level of pricing.

We wait to see how recent volatility pans out but what it does provide is a sense check. There are people who need or want to move, but buyers also believe prices are inflated. With offers regularly being made below asking price, pricing correctly in the first instance is crucial. Sellers and their agents should be having conversations, not just about pricing but about timing. If you want to move by a certain date ask your agent about various pricing structures and how being sensitive on price can speed up the time is takes to find a buyer. When the market is in flux, pricing competitively means pricing ultra-realistically.

The fallout from the latest inflation figures may be felt more keenly in June’s data with the impact of higher mortgage rates and potential for further base rate rises unsettling buyers and sellers alike. It looks as though the next three months might well be tougher than originally thought and there may be a negative knock-on impact on transaction levels. However, there is no reason why sellers who take advice from an experienced local agent, and price realistically under their guidance cannot still achieve a timely sale.

Property pictured – The Orchards, Wighill – Now sold subject to contract - sale agreed within 24 hours of viewing on 23.06.2023


Beadnall Copley keeping you up to date with housing market news: data taken from OnTheMarket’s latest Property Sentiment Index, released 26.06.2023. Full article and data can be found on