Movers in the North West had most unrealistic expectations according to latest research showing the disconnect between sentiment and the realities of local markets

In our latest special edition Property Sentiment Index we explored ‘Sentiment vs Reality’ in the property market across the regions in the UK.

As part of this month’s report, we included TwentyCi research detailing actual stock levels, allowing us to measure sentiment against the reality of stock left on the market. Insights showed that overall stock levels were roughly the same in May 2022 as they were in May 2021, so strong seller and buyer confidence seen in the report comes as no surprise. The results showed 82% of sellers in the UK were confident that they’d sell their property within the next three months while 75% of active buyers in the UK were confident that they’d purchase a property within the next three months.

TwentyCi’s data allowed us to compare buyer and seller sentiment to the reality of local market performance across regions, highlighting areas with the most realistic and unrealistic expectations towards their ability to sell or buy property in May. We’ve ranked these regions from those with the smallest to largest disparity between relative confidence and relative stock left in May 2022.

The results show movers in the North West had the most unrealistic expectations as the region ranked as having the greatest disconnect between buyer confidence and stock left, as well as the largest disparity between seller confidence levels and stock.

Therefore, as the confidence levels of both buyers and sellers in this region were most out of line with the level of stock available in the local market, it could be argued that movers here had expectations of moving in the next three months which were more optimistic rather than realistic when compared to available stock.

In a joint ranking with the North West, the East Midlands, South East, and Wales also demonstrated the greatest disparity between buyer confidence and stock, suggesting that respondents in these regions were more confident of moving in the next three months than the level of stock may allow for.

On the other hand, buyer confidence in the West Midlands was most in line with stock levels in May as this region ranked as having the smallest disparity between relative buyer confidence and relative stock left in May.

 

Meanwhile, contrastingly to the North West, the South West saw the smallest disconnect between seller confidence and relative stock left which implies sellers in this region had realistic confidence levels that they’d sell their property in the next three months when this confidence was compared to available stock levels.

Interestingly, the North East ranked as having the second smallest gap between both buyer and seller confidence and months of stock left. This ranking indicates that confidence levels among movers were more realistically aligned with the reality of the local housing market in this region in May.

 

In London, our findings suggested that there was greater disparity between buyer confidence and stock levels, while seller confidence was more in line with stock levels. The region ranked as having the fourth smallest disparity between buyer confidence and stock levels, but ranked as having the third smallest disparity between relative seller confidence and stock levels.

By using the graphs below, we were also able to look at how UK average buyer and seller confidence levels that they’d move in the next three months changed from May 2021 to May 2022; and compare these confidence levels to months of stock left in the UK across this same 12 month period.

 

The graph above shows average UK seller confidence reached its peak in December 2021 and at this time stock levels were low. At this time, demand was very much outweighing supply in the market, so strong confidence among sellers in the UK that they’d move within three months at this time was justified as strong demand for property was very much there.

In the graph below, it can be seen that average UK buyer confidence was also highest in December 2021, but we could suggest that as UK stock levels were also low at this time, there was a disconnect between buyer confidence and the reality of stock left on the market.

 

You can read the full report complete with our methodology here.

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