Property Blog and News / Business as usual as buyers and sellers exhibit remarkable resilience

Business as usual as buyers and sellers exhibit remarkable resilience

15 August 2023


Jamie Obertelli
Head of PR & Communications

Our latest Property Sentiment Index showed that it was business as usual for the UK housing market as buyers and sellers continued to exhibit remarkable resilience.

In July, 76% of UK buyers were confident they’d purchase a property within the next three months, a slight increase when compared to June (74%); and 63% of sellers were confident they’d sell their properties within the next three months, compared to 64% in June.

  • 76% of active buyers in the UK were confident that they would purchase a property within the next 3 months
  • 63% of sellers in the UK were confident that they would sell their property within the next 3 months
  •  42% of properties were Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being advertised for sale, compared with 61% in May 2022
  • Pricing property correctly, assisted by an experienced local agent, essential to achieving a timely sale

Our Chief Executive Officer, Jason Tebb, discusses the insights from our latest report:

The housing market was remarkably resilient in July. Despite ongoing challenging economic conditions, persistently high inflation and the threat of more interest rate rises to come, serious buyers and sellers remained determined to move.

Once again, our data demonstrates that visitors to our website are serious property seekers, focused on moving, keen to make decisions and get transactions over the line. Our data shows that sentiment remained pretty consistent in July compared with the previous month, with 76% of UK buyers confident that they’d purchase a property within the next three months in July compared to 74% in June. Given all the challenges, it’s all the more remarkable that more than three-quarters of would-be buyers remain convinced they will purchase a property in the coming quarter. This picture was consistent across the country with buyer sentiment improving in every region, apart from the West Midlands where there was a slight dip.

Given the time of year and usual seasonal slowdowns, one would expect a percentage point drop here or there to account for this. This seems to be the case with seller sentiment, which isn’t as strong as the buyer equivalent, perhaps given the shift in the balance of power towards buyers. Seller sentiment on average fell by one percentage point in July, with 63% of UK sellers confident that they’d sell within the next three months compared to 64% in June. This average number masks some regional variations, with seller sentiment falling in the South West by five percentage points to 55% in July from 60% in June. Such variations underline the importance of engaging with an experienced local agent if you are considering selling, in order to better understand what’s going on in your region.

There are always those who need to move and these figures show that those people are getting on with it, as long as they can afford to do so. Properties SSTC within 30 days of first being listed for sale remained fairly consistent at 42% in July, compared with 43% in June. The major disruption that some predicted for the housing market this year has not materialised. Transaction figures are down slightly but nowhere near as low as some had forecast. Volatility has given way to a calmer, more stable period. Those who put their homes on the market at inflated prices will struggle to sell but if sellers take the advice of an experienced local agent, there is no reason why they won’t transact, and in a timely manner.

Since July and the time period covered by this report, there has been another interest rate rise and it remains to be seen what will happen to sentiment in the coming months. There is a growing perception that base rate is near its peak and while rates may plateau rather than fall again immediately, this would at least enable buyers and sellers to plan ahead with more confidence. For now, it’s business as usual.

You can read the full report here.


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