Housing Insight Report: October 2023

The Autumn statement had an upbeat feel and yielded some positive news for the housing industry. However, this is no time to celebrate while the cost-of-living crisis continues to limp on. In the letting sector, the number of new prospective tenants registered per member branch has decreased month on month since July 2023.

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This report is based on responses to a survey of Propertymark member agents conducted between 1 November 2023 and 14 November 2023. Analysis is based on data provided by around 100 sales and 100 letting agents across the UK.

Residential sales

Prospective buyer numbers continue to fall

Despite some optimism creeping into the economy, market conditions remain challenging within the sector. Last month we pointed to a slight reduction in the average number of new prospective buyers registered per branch. The trend continues this month, which is down to 53 in October 2023, from 60 in September and 81 in August. However, the longer time series presented this month (Figure 5) confirms the re-emergence of seasonals trends, with a corresponding downturn seen in 2022 in the run up to the festive period.

Viewing numbers remain static

The average number of viewings per property remained static across August, September and October 2023. However, the longer time series shows a concerning downward trend.

Residential lettings

Prospective tenant numbers continue to decrease

The number of new prospective tenants registered per member branch has been decreasing month on month since July 2023 when it stood at 124. In October, the number of registrations stands at 86, a significant drop. However, Figure 16 again points to emergence of seasonal trends. Furthermore, a closer look at the data reveals that the average number of prospective tenants registered between January and October 2023 was broadly similar to the same period in 2022 (109 vs 108 respectively).

Stock levels remain challenging

The average number of properties available to rent per member branch reduced marginally in October over September. However, as indicated by the horizontal dotted lines on the X axis, the fluctuation in supply level has been within a narrow range over the last 12 months.

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