September market snapshot
Ocean's website experienced the highest ever volume of online valuations completed in September, with an above-average level of users requesting home visit market appraisals. All of our sales offices report increased instruction levels so far, suggesting more options for home movers this autumn.
However; Rightmove report the hottest ever competition to buy, with buyer demand per property for sale more than double pre-pandemic levels. The rise of the ‘power buyer’ continues – those who have already sold their own home, have cash in the bank, or are first time buyers with a mortgage agreed, are in a more powerful position and are out-muscling those who still need to sell their current home.
Output in the service sector remained broadly unchanged, the construction sector contracting by 1.6%. The number of job vacancies in the UK has risen above 1 million for the first time since records began in 2001. There were 1.03 million vacancies recorded in the three months to August. The ONS also report employee numbers are now back to pre-Covid levels. The ONS report inflation rose to 3.2% in August, price rises recording a record jump. The rise is expected to be temporary and is partly the result of food costs soaring compared to a year ago when the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme was in place and many diners received a 50% discount on meals out.
Nationally, early signs of a better-balanced autumn market with more homes coming up for sale to help with buyer choice, with the number of new listings in the first two weeks of September 14% higher than the last two weeks of August. Average asking prices of newly marketed properties hit a new all-time high of £338,462 in September. Despite the traditional summer holiday lull, fierce competition continues among buyers for the record low number of available properties for sale. Nevertheless, as we enter the busy autumn period, there are early signs of more properties coming to market.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments: “While the holiday-starved took their break over summer, the high ratio of buyer demand to properties for sale means that the property market remains stock-starved despite the summer lull lessening overall activity. Competition among potential buyers to secure their next home is now more than double what it was this time in 2019. To be in pole position in the race for the best property you need to have greater buying power than the rest of the field. That traditionally would mean deeper pockets to outbid other buyers, but in the most competitive market ever, today’s ‘power buyers’ also need to have already found a buyer for their own property, or to have no need to sell at all. Agents report that buyers who have yet to sell are being out-muscled by buyers who have already sold subject to contract. Proof that you are mortgage-ready or can splash the cash without needing a mortgage will also help you to get the pick of the housing crop.”
Rightmove & Zoopla's reporting shows the housing market is moving at its fastest pace for 5 years. The time between listing a property and agreeing a sale has consistently averaged less than 40 days each month since May. Despite the shortage of homes for sale, there is some good news for people taking their first step onto the property ladder.
First time buyers
Despite the shortage of homes for sale, there is some good news for people taking their first step onto the property ladder. There’s evidence that some landlords are selling up. Some 8% of homes that are currently listed for sale have been previously rented, rising to 13% in London. That’s up from a UK-wide average of just 3% 2 years ago. And this in turn could boost choice for first-time buyers, who are typically interested in buying the same types of homes as landlords.
Mon 11 Oct 2021