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.
There has been a slight reduction in available properties for sale and this reflects ongoing market uncertainty. More concerningly, the vast majority of properties continue to sell below asking price pointing to a pricing correction despite average house prices continuing to rise. Governments across the UK continue to tinker with legislation and legislative programs, disincentivising landlords along the way. Supply in the PRS remains tight with far more applicant registrations than properties available.
There has been little urgency from governments across the UK to address the supply and demand issue by incentivising investment for landlords. The sales market is strong as we see a 29% rise in the number of new properties for sale when compared with last month.
As the number of viewings and valuations drop, this report indicates a shift to only the more serious homebuyers and sellers remaining proactive in the sales market. In the lettings market, we continue to see an alarming disparity in the number of homes available to rent when compared with growing demand from prospective tenants.
Despite disappointing national economic news, the number of valuations for sale conducted per branch has remained steady. The number of properties available to rent is 19 per cent lower than last year, while the number of new prospective tenants registering per member branch is up 27 per cent. This worrying mismatch between supply and demand continues to put pressure on rents.
Despite the current economic conditions, it is reassuring to see that the number of new prospective buyers coming to the market is only four per cent lower than last year when the sales market was in a frenzy. In terms of lettings, a worrying mismatch is continuing in supply and demand levels.
The fall in demand from buyers has allowed the number of homes available for sale to recover some. But we are seeing a steady level of transactions happening which is good news for the market and the wider economy. In the rental market, we are still seeing the demand for property grow but no increase in homes.
With the number of sales and appraisals month on month remaining healthy, a strong appetite continues within the sales market. In the lettings sector, the issue of undersupply remains with no movement seen in the number of properties available to rent. This translates to an average of 10 prospective tenants registering per available property.
There has been a lot of doomy whispers about the housing market since last Autumn, but the activity being seen by Propertymark agents paints a robust picture. Transaction levels year on year have been stable and listings of new properties coming to the market have also been steady. The lettings market remains very much out of balance with an average of ten registered applicants per property.
The average number of new prospective buyers registered per member branch rose from 39 in December to 70 in January. This jump in demand is a regular seasonal trend and suggests buyers have been waiting in the wings to start the hunt for their ideal home in the New Year.
The sales market is firmly back in the hands of buyers who have been on the back foot for 18 months. As for lettings, we are starting to seeing a decrease in demand, the knock on effect is that less agents are seeing rent rises.
Our figures indicate that we are on the cusp of seeing the sales market hand back purchasing power to buyers which is a trend we haven’t seen in months. As for lettings, we are seeing a slight decrease in the number of prospective tenants registered per branch as due to the ongoing lack of supply.
The sales market is continuing to rebalance after the intense demand of the past two years. The rental market continues to be fueled by high demand and low supply. The number of our agents reporting rent increases is down but the UK-wide reform of this part of the market is continuing to affect the sentiment of landlords.
The number of available properties per member branch has risen by 47 per cent since the depths of winter last year. Whilst on the letting's side, the number of new tenants registered on average (per member branch) reached a new peak at 141 in August.
HOUSING REPORT: Agents reporting average time from offer accepted to exchanging contracts has been growing over the past two years. This month hit a new record with 41 per cent of agents reporting average times stretching over four months. We are continuing to see the evidence of a summer dip as buyers and sellers turn their attention to holidaying.
HOUSING REPORT: Last month, we saw the first confirmed indications that high demand is easing across the UK, with some home sellers now finding they may have pitched their prices too high for the current market.