buyers viewing

Buyers race to lock in as 48% make an offer on day of viewing

The UK housing sector remains a fast-paced marketplace, with buyers continuing to show a strong appetite for bricks and mortar and sellers racing to keep up.

There have been reports recently of the country’s housing market levelling off in terms of buyer and seller numbers, after a growing imbalance had continued to see multiple buyers compete for each property as it came to the market.

However, it is clear that supply levels are still quite a way off meeting the amount of demand, and this is certainly more prevalent in some areas than others. The result of this, according to many experts, is that house prices will be supported, even if buyer numbers dwindle further.

Now, new figures from MPowered Mortgages have revealed that the voracious appetite in the market continues to be demonstrated by viewing and buying patterns, showing that the number of properties that receive an offer a short time after being viewed – or even without a viewing – remains significantly higher than in previous years.

Move quickly to secure a property

The findings show that almost half (48%) of properties for sale receive an offer on the same day as the viewing. This is up from 26% in 2018. Incredibly, almost a third (31%) of properties now receive an offer with an hour of the viewing, up from 7% in 2018.

Some properties are even snapped up before buyers have seen them, with 12% receiving an offer in this manner. In 2018, 7% of properties had offers made without a viewing.

The data also looked at the five-year trend, which showed that an average of 38% of properties received an offer on the day of the viewing over the time period. It also seems that young people – 18-34-year-olds – are more likely to make a snap decision, with 11% making an offer before a viewing.

The 35-54-year-old age bracket were more reticent, with 5% saying they would make a blind offer. This could be an indication of the difficulties faced by younger buyers and first-time buyers in terms of securing a mortgage, meaning they are more likely to act fast.

Buyers still being gazumped

MPowered’s research also looked at other common buyer experiences, one of which was being gazumped – where an offer is accepted, but this then falls through because the seller accepts a higher price from someone else afterwards.

It is currently the top reason for a property purchase to fall through, according to the findings, accounting for 32% of failed completions.

The data also showed that 50% of buyers have experienced their offer falling through. In around 25% of cases, this is because problems showed up when the survey came back, while for 15% there was a break in the chain meaning someone had to pull out and it couldn’t progress.

The percentage of fall-throughs that happened as a result of the buyer being unable to secure an adequate mortgage was 10%. Unfortunately, due to the current uncertainty in the mortgage market, many expect that this will be a growing problem, although lenders are back on the scenes with products now.

Commenting on the findings, Stuart Cheetham, CEO of MPowered Mortgages, said: “We are seeing lots of activity in the market as buyers race to lock in deals given the pace in which they are rising in the current climate and this data shows that offers are being made extremely quickly, despite a large proportion of these falling through.

“Our House Pace Index shines a light on changing consumer behaviour against a backdrop of rising mortgage rates and aims to prompt more consideration in the house-buying process.

“The race to find a home can be a daunting prospect even more so now in an environment where mortgage rates are rising as part of the cost of living. Of the many hurdles a homebuyer faces, one element that can be largely controlled is the certainty of their mortgage and this will be even more important as rates continue to rise.

“MPowered Mortgages uses AI and intelligent data to provide mortgage decisions quickly and make the mortgage journey for homebuyers and re-mortgagers as pain-free as possible.”

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