Property Buyers and Sellers Remain Confident During September 2023
According to the latest Property Sentiment Index from OnTheMarket, there’s a positive outlook emerging for the UK property market. Serious property seekers and buy-to-let landlords remain active and are proceeding with transactions, regardless of continued economic uncertainty.
The report for October 2023, which collates data from last month, suggests optimism for buyers and sellers alike during September. They found that 74% of active buyers in the UK were confident that they would purchase a property within the next 3 months.
On the sellers’ side, 61% believed they would sell their property in the next 3 months. While still a decent amount, this is less than the amount of confident buyers. This difference may reflect the current buyer’s market, in which the purchaser has relative power compared to the seller. But the figure has been unchanged since the month before, suggesting resilience and stability in the market.
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What’s the Regional Outlook for the Property Market?
Regional variations were also set out in the report, pointing to more confidence in the country’s North.
Sellers in Scotland were most optimistic, with 70% asserting they would sell their property in the next 3 months. This number is 64% in the North West, and similar figures were found in other regions in North England.
This number drops to 48% in the South West, and other southern areas stand at less than 60%. The only exception is London, which sits at 65%, showing more confidence in the London property market than the rest of the South.
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Properties are Attracting Buyers in a ‘Sensible Timeframe’
The rate of properties that were Sold Subject to Contract within 30 days of first being listed stood at 37% in September. This is only down slightly from 38% the month previously.
This shows impressive stability in the face of the cost of living crisis and ballooning mortgage rates. The UK property market is remaining fairly consistent despite these harsh economic conditions. The report states that properties attract buyers within a ‘sensible timeframe’, provided they are not overpriced.
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Rate Hold Provides Boost to Confidence
In September, the Bank of England kept interest rates on hold for the first time in almost two years, keeping the base rate at 5.25%. This move has brought relief and, according to OnTheMarket’s report, some stability to the UK housing market.
OnTheMarket’s property research states that the mortgage market benefits from increased competition. Many lenders are ‘reducing fixed-rate mortgages and easing criteria, offering better terms to self-employed borrowers and improved loan-to-income multiples’.
Some fixes are available at less than 5%, and the amount is set to increase in the year’s final quarter. This is a good sign for the mortgage market, showing lenders are more enthusiastic about lending, and borrowers may increase subsequently.
Another rate hold is predicted at the Bank of England’s November meeting.
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