Slowing market hits homebuying activity

Slowing market hits homebuying activity

0:04 AM, 29th March 2023, About A year ago

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A slowing house market in the first quarter of the year has seen homebuyer activity drop by 22% compared to last year, an index reveals.

The homebuyer demand index by also shows that homebuyer demand slipped by 5.7% in the first three months of 2023.

The estate agent comparison site looks at the property market across England to highlight where the nation’s hotspots for homebuyers are.

The latest index shows that the housing market has remained in good health this year as 43% of the homes listed in England have already been snapped up.

‘Reduction in buyer market activity would materialise’

Colby Short, the co-founder and chief executive of GetAgent, said: “Given the pace that the market has been moving at since the pandemic, it was inevitable that a reduction in buyer market activity would materialise at some point.

“However, it’s fair to say that this reduction was brought about more abruptly than anticipated following last September’s mini-Budget.

“The good news is that the overall health of the market remains robust and we’re still seeing around half of all homes listed being snapped up by buyers across the vast majority of counties.”

He added: “However, this level of demand has dropped slightly when compared to the closing stages of last year and remains someway off the pace seen during the first quarter of 2022.

“That said, with the widely predicted housing market crash failing to materialise and with buyer confidence remaining high, we expect to see homebuyer demand levels increase over the course of the year.”

Quarterly boost in demand with a return to normality

However, just the City of London has seen a quarterly boost in demand with a return to normality and a 4.2% jump in buyer activity when compared to the end of 2022.

Durham saw the largest quarterly reduction in demand which fell by 11%, with Rutland (-11%), Somerset (8.8%), Suffolk (8.8%), Northamptonshire (8.4%), Essex (8.4%) and the Isle of Wight (8.4%) also recording drops in buyer activity.

As the market cools, every county in England saw an annual decline in buyer demand when compared with the much busier market seen at the beginning of last year.

Largest annual decline was seen in the Isle of Wight

The largest annual decline was seen in the Isle of Wight with a 33% drop in activity – followed by Lincolnshire (-30.3%), the East Riding of Yorkshire (-30.3%) and Northamptonshire (-30.2%).

The platform also highlights that demand is robust in some areas to brighten home sellers with Bristol recording 61% of all homes that are listed currently having been snapped up by homebuyers.

South Yorkshire is home to the second highest level of homebuyer demand at 48.4%, followed by Tyne and Wear (48.3%), Wiltshire (48.3%) and Hampshire (48.2%).

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