Is The Housing Market Finally Cooling Off?

Housing sales have resumed a more stable pattern over the summer, and the rising cost of living is finally expected to impact on the housing market by the end of the year. This may be good news for first time buyers who have had a challenging time getting on the property ladder during the past couple of years.

The Buy Association reports that the latest figures released by the trade body Propertymark show that the number of viewers per home, and the inflated asking prices, were showing signs of tailing off. Overall, there was a 29% reduction in viewings per property since April, falling from 6.2 to 4.4 on average per property.

The report comments: “Sales agreed as a percentage of stock remains high at 33% in June. This is compared to the pre-pandemic average of 17% of stock sold in the month of June between 2010 to 2019.”

It adds: “However, some buyers are starting to secure homes under the asking price, with 27% of branches now reporting that most sales were completed below asking price compared to a low of just 15% in March.”

House prices are still continuing to rise, standing at 12.8% higher than this time last year, with the national average now £283,000. The south west of England is the area with the highest growth, while London experienced the lowest rates of growth. 

The average time from an offer being accepted to the exchange of contracts has increased to 13 or more weeks, which is over a 50% increase in the last quarter. However, the imbalance between available housing stock in the UK and demand for homes is expected to shield the market from a sharp decline. 

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