Subdued Economy Fails to Stop Buyers and Sellers in UK Property Scene
As we head towards the final days of 2023, the On the Market Property Sentiment Index shines a light on the buying and selling habits of the UK property sector.
With inflation dropping to 3.9% and interest rates holding for three consecutive Bank of England meetings, the market is regaining footing after a subdued year. With mortgage rates falling, it’s no surprise that buyers and sellers are confident enough to purchase or sell properties over the next few months.
The On the Market December index indicates that we could see higher activity in the buy-to-let sector, with more investors potentially considering buying a house to rent out in the next few months.
Let’s look at the index in greater detail.
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On the Market Property Sentiment Index December 2023: At a Glance
- 71% of buyers were confident they would buy property within three months.
- 56% of sellers were confident they would sell a property within three months.
- 33% of properties were SSTC within 30 days in November – down from 42% in November 2022.
- 31% of buyers said they do not need a mortgage to buy property.
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How Do Buyers and Sellers Feel About the Property Market?
According to the index, seller confidence sat at 56% in November, slightly down from 58% in October. When you consider seasonal effects that usually trouble the property market at the end of the year, a -2% drop is quite impressive.
Interestingly, only 8% of prospective movers were worried about securing a mortgage. This may reflect confidence in falling mortgage rates heading into 2024 and optimism in the market following a better-than-expected 2023.
Those worried about mortgages may have one eye on the month-by-month uptick in prices reported by Nationwide and Halifax.
In contrast, 31% of surveyed buyers said they did not require a mortgage to purchase property. Buy-to-let mortgage-free investors stand to make substantial buy-to-let returns over the next year – Savills predicts 6% rental growth for 2024.
Pro tip: If you need help calculating rental yields, check out our free rental income estimator.
For more information on the rental market and property investment, consult our guide on the best property to invest in.
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What Does the On the Market PSI Say About the North West?
Want to invest in Manchester property or check out a buy-to-let property for sale Birmingham? Andrew Cardwell, Managing Director of Cardwells Estate Agents, said the following about buyer demand in the North West.
“We have been pleased with the solid demand levels in the Bolton, Bury and Greater Manchester sales market, with strong, almost unseasonal levels of sales being agreed, though this is primarily in the middle and lower price brackets of the marketplace. The more expensive properties are proving to be a little slower, perhaps in line with the cost of borrowing remaining high.
“Of course, the freezing of the interest rates by the Bank of England has been helpful as more rises would have put significant pressure on the market and the reductions in the lending rates by most banks and building societies has been most welcome. Fingers crossed, now that inflation levels are below Mr Sunak’s 5% target, there may be reductions in the interest rates in the first quarter of 2024.
“The rental market continues to be buoyant, sustained by a low level of supply to the Market […] This shortage of supply has meant that achieved rents have increased, and landlords often have a choice of potential tenants. This creates a trying task for some potential tenants who can find it difficult and competitive when trying to secure a new home.”
For more information on North West property investment, dive into our regional buy-to-let city guides, including: