Property market stabilising as we enter Spring buying season (March House price index)

PUBLISHED: 30th Mar 2023

The average price of property coming to the market has risen by 0.8% this month to £365,357 mainly due to a 1.2% jump in the largest home sector (or top of the ladder).

Nationally, new seller asking prices are now £5,800 below October’s peak, with annual price growth continuing to ease and now at +3.0% as the market cautiously moves towards pre-pandemic activity levels despite the recent economic turbulence. The data from Rightmove continues to point to a market on a much more stable footing than many anticipated and is cautiously transitioning towards the activity levels of the more normal market of 2019 which is good news for buyers and sellers.

Tim Bannister of Rightmove commented ‘the beginning of the Spring season sees stability and confidence continuing to return to the market as it recovers from the turbulence at the end of 2022. The pace of the market reached an unsustainable level in the last two years, and was on track to slow to a more normal level, although the speed of this slowdown to more normality was accelerated due to the reaction to September’s mini- budget. While higher mortgage rates and economic headwinds have raised challenges, many home-owner’s who were effectively side-lined in the frenetic bidding wars of the last two years will find that a slower paced market gives them time to plan and secure their next move as we enter the traditionally busy spring-buying season”

Zoopla states that it is possible to take two opposing views on performance in the current market sales market. The glass-half-empty view is to look at trends on a year-on-year basis comparing this year to the red-hot market conditions a year ago. The glass-half-full view compares the current market to the pre-pandemic years (2017-2019) when activity levels were much more similar to the current market.

Average mortgage rates have fallen back from their peak of last year, with average rates for a 15% deposit five-year fixed mortgage now 4.65%, edging down from last month’s 4.75%. and October’s 5.89%, although this is higher than 2.48% in March 2022, the mortgage rates do appear to have reached their new level.

On the market state that 69% of active buyers in the UK were confident that they would purchase a property within the next 3 months and 62% of sellers in the UK were confident that they would sell their property within the next 3 months – again despite the market turbulence, buyer sentiment remains reassuringly steady, it also appears that sellers  are more encouraged by the longer term outlook than the shorter-term.

There are still challenges ahead, particularly in regard to inflation which increased slightly last week but concerns appear to be short term rather than medium to long term. The Prime Minister has pledged decisive action to halve inflation by the end of the year, and while it’s some way off its 2 percent target, it’s moving in the right direction,.

Although On the Market split their data into buyers and sellers,  many sellers are also buyers, so even if they have to sell slightly off the top of the market, assuming they’re moving up the ladder, they’ll also spend relatively less on their next property as the trading gap narrows.  If there was a strong argument for moving then surely that is it.

Despite recent market turbulent Zoopla state that market is still on track for a soft landing with modest price falls of up to 5% (not the 10% that is been bandied about across some media platforms) although hyper-local pockets in desirable areas in North Leeds should in most cases be exempt from excessive price reductions.

Sellers looking to take advantage of traditionally strong buyer interest during the Spring moving season should seek the expertise of a local Estate Who will undertake accurate valuations and achieve a realistic price – for a free market Appraisal call David Phillip FRICS on 01134 676 400

David Phillip Estate Agents, 86, Leeds road, Bramhope, Leeds  w:davidphillip.co.uk   e: info @davidphillip.co.uk

Covering Bramhope, Leeds, North Leeds, Cookridge, Adel, Pool-in Wharfedale, Otley

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