October market snapshot
Of course, at Ocean, we constantly review the headlines, the commentary and the (trusted) industry opinion and predictions. Most importantly we are intrinsically linked to local sentiment and measure Bristol's real-time market activity.
Let's take a look at the market facts right now so that we can all make informed and prudent decisions about home moving.
“In many ways, the chancellor’s announcement [17th October] was the best feasible outcome for the housing market. Almost all of the tax cuts announced in the Truss/Kwarteng “mini” Budget three weeks ago have gone. Even measures that had been announced previously, such as the 1p cut to the basic rate of income tax, have been shelved. Reversing these cuts drastically reduces the size of the financial black hole the government has to clamber its way out of. That should reassure global financial markets that the UK remains a safe place to invest, bringing gilt yields down. This, in turn, will reduce the need for the Bank of England to hike base rates. It means we can expect to see mortgage rates peak lower and fall faster once we pass peak inflation" Lawrence Bowles, director of research at Savills
In a bid to restore stability and calm in the economic markets the new Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt has announced a reversal of plans outlined in the mini-budget. The SDLT changes - raised the threshold from £125,000 to £250,000, for first-time buyers the threshold has been raised from £300,000 to £425,000. And a reduction in NI contributions will remain.
The Bank of England have raised the base rate of interest to 2.25%, the seventh consecutive rate rise. The impact of the mini-budget on the economy is likely to see rates rise higher than initially expected. The UK economy unexpectedly shrunk by 0.3% in August according to official figures as both the production and service sectors contracted. Construction was the only main sector to grow.
The Nationwide and Halifax both report annual property price growth is softening, growth in the year to September at its lowest rate since October 2021 and January 2022 respectively. The number of existing properties for sale with a price reduction rose by 2% month-on-month to 23% in October, this remains lower than the 32% pre-pandemic five-year average (according to Rightmove).
Rightmove report - The average price of property coming to market rises by 0.9% (+£3,398) this month to a new record of £371,158, as shortages of property for sale continue to underpin prices. A new asking price record may seem surprising given the market uncertainty that followed the government’s mini-budget in late September, but it will take time for any impact to filter through to house prices. There is also little sign of downwards price pressure on existing properties for sale, with the number of reductions up 2% on last month to 23% of all properties reduced, which is still much lower than the pre-pandemic five-year average of 32%. It is very likely that asking prices will drop in November and December as they normally do, and it will be important to distinguish these seasonal price changes from market changes caused by other factors. Though we understand that price forecasts are at the front of minds for many, there are more economic events to play out before we can make a prediction for 2023.
“What’s going to happen to house prices is understandably on the minds of many home-movers right now, especially following the market uncertainty after the government’s mini-budget. There has been no immediate effect on prices, but the trend of a slight softening in the pace of growth continues. New sellers coming to market in the month have been pricing strongly, and the number of homes that were already on the market seeing a reduction in price is still well below the long-term average. It will take a bit of time for the market to settle in to a new, more ‘normal’ level of activity following over two years of market frenzy, especially with new developments happening almost daily at the moment.” Tim Bannister Rightmove’s Director of Property Science
Property prices in Bristol climbed 8.4% over the past year, adding £25,500 to the typical home, according to our August 2022 House Price Index. The area is just ahead of the UK average where prices have risen by 8.2% since August 2021. Over the last 12 months, the average sales price in Bristol was £346,098.
34% of sales in the past 12 months were flats, achieving an average sales price of £263,915. Houses achieved an average price of £397,978. Over the past month, prices in Bristol have grown slightly. And looking back over the last five years, the average property value has grown by 25.5%.
The rapid rise in average mortgage interest rates has understandably caused some would-be home-movers to pause their plans and wait to see how the next few weeks and months unfold. Overall demand is down by 15% in the last two weeks compared with the same two weeks last year, but it is still 20% higher than the more normal market of 2019. Looking at the different market sectors, it appears that first-time buyers have been the hardest hit, as higher rates may prove to be a step too far for those who were already stretching their finances. Demand in the first-time buyer sector is down by 21% in the last two weeks compared to the same two weeks last year, though it is still up 24% compared to the more normal market of 2019.
But despite this hiatus affecting some would-be buyers as they wait for a steadier outlook, those who have already agreed their purchase are not losing their resolve. Only 3.1% of sales agreed have fallen through in the two weeks since the mini-budget, which is in line with the 3.0% over the same two weeks during 2019. Agents are reporting that those who managed to secure a mortgage offer at a lower rate are rushing to complete their purchase before that lower rate offer expires.
Close to 105,000 property sales took place in August, the strongest August since 2007 according to data released by the HMRC. Nearly 310,000 sales took place June-August, a fall of 4.2% on the three months previously.
Rightmove report there has not been any significant increase in fall throughs or withdrawals in the immediate aftermath of the mini-budget. 80% of sellers outside of London believe they will be able to sell their property within 3 months according to On the market.
The Bank of England reported over 74,000 mortgages were approved in August, approvals up 11.1% from a year ago. Year-to-date approvals for home purchasers are 3.1% higher than the pre-pandemic (2015-2019) average.
As always, our teams are here to help in every way possible, get in touch with any questions or concerns.
Additional sources: Dataloft, Land Registry, National House Price Index, DLUHC
Tue 18 Oct 2022