There are signs of an increasingly positive momentum in the UK property sector as sales rise and more new homes come to the market.
Activity in the UK property market seems to be ramping up as we leave summer behind us, particularly when it comes to transaction levels and housing supply. This is good news for both buyers and sellers, as it demonstrates ongoing appetite while stock restrictions in some areas begin to ease.
In Propertymark‘s latest Housing Insight Report for August, most of the results show positive trends. Its findings reveal that more housing stock is now being released to the market by sellers, with an average rise of 29% in the number of homes for sale per Propertymark member branch.
This marks three consecutive months of increases in UK property supply levels, with the average number of homes available per member branch rising to 45 in August – up from 38 in July. The report notes that this is the highest figure seen since pre-Covid.
UK property moving forwards
Other metrics that showed improvement in the latest report included the number of new instructions per member branch, which shot up to an average of 13 in August, while market appraisals have also risen to 25 per member branch.
Propertymark points out that this demonstrates that the UK property sector “is starting to see forward traction”, and this is backed up by buyer numbers, too. There was an average of 81 new prospective buyers registered at each member branch in August, showing a revival of appetite in the market.
Viewings also showed signs of “forward momentum”, says the report. The number of viewings per month per member branch had been falling since April, but saw a jump in August to two viewings per available property, in a sign that people may be more likely to consider a purchase now than earlier this year.
Have interest rates peaked?
Could some of this renewed appetite in the UK property market be an indication that confidence is returning, while people are more able to move forwards in the current interest rate environment with the hope that improvement is on the way?
Whether the Bank of England’s latest decision to hold interest rates at 5.25% is a sign that we have reached the peak of the curve remains to be seen, but many in the industry are speculating that a likely outcome now is for rates to be held steady for a period of time, before beginning to come down again.
The latest inflation results certainly showed signs of positivity, too, being better than many had anticipated thanks to a fall in fuel prices, and this can have a direct impact on both confidence and affordability.
As Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, points out, we could be set to see a further upswing in the UK property market as the year progresses, while those buyers who had been sitting on the fence may now decide to push forward in the current conditions.
“The sales market is strong as we see a 29% rise in the number of new properties for sale when compared with last month,” he says. £This shows that many people are continuing to find an affordable middle ground when coming to the market with negotiations well underway.
“We imagine this picture will only get stronger with more sales completing in the coming months given the recent positive news of inflation rates remaining unchanged. This will give much needed encouragement to those buyers who were hesitant.”