There is a very different vibe to the property market from last month, with a number of reports suggesting that the market is rapidly changing from being a sellers’ market to what is starting to look a lot like the beginning of a buyers’ market in some areas (although nobody has told our office yet…shhh!)
The latest survey by the RICS reports a 20% increase in the number of their members who reported a fall, rather than a rise, in buyer demand last month. This is the sixth month of reported falling buyer enquiries. This is partly substantiated by Rightmove reporting an annual fall of 5.9% in the number of sales agreed.
Overall, the level of new instructions entering the market has risen by 3.1% annually which, when coupled with the fall in new buyers enquiries, positions us for a rebalancing of supply over demand. Fortunately, house prices have generally remained strong in this area, but how long this can hold out is debatable, as some areas, especially in London and the South East, are already seeing significant house price falls.
On the other hand, this information is confused when Rightmove reports that asking prices rose 1.1% over the past month – the largest October increase since 2014. They did however warn that with more sellers chasing fewer buyers, sellers keen to move by Christmas would need to “work hard” (or rather their agent should!).
The problem is, in a confused market, every day there is one report or another that contradicts the previous one. Some can make depressing reading and others deliver a shot of confidence. Whilst all of us at Oakfield Estate Agents certainly have our finger on the pulse of the local market and what drives it, ultimately our role is to help people move – whatever the market – and we like to think we do that rather well.
So if you’re contemplating a sale, or you’re already on the market and are frustrated that you have not yet sold, why not call your local branch for a confidential chat. You might be pleasantly surprised!
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer