Agents and sellers told to ‘price sensitively if they are pricing to sell’

Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Sellers are being advised to be realistic with their asking price if they want to attract buyers amid a slowing housing market.

Some 73% of buyers are confident they would purchase a property within the next three months – despite volatility in the mortgage market, but only if the price is right, the latest OnTheMarket Property Sentiment Index shows.

Figures for May also showed 65% of sellers were confident they would sell within the next three months. Around 42% of properties were sold subject to contract (SSTC) within 30 days of being advertised for sale in May- down from 61% in May 2022.

Sellers and agents were warned they must “price sensitively if they are pricing to sell”.

Jason Tebb, CEO of OnTheMarket, said buyer and seller sentiment was not shaken during May but warned more market volatility was due to come.

He said rising figures in March had suggested the market had shaken off the fall out from the mini budget and house prices were continuing to “soften slightly”.

“Mortgage pricing also calmed, with borrowers accepting that rates are going to be higher than has been typical over the past few years,” he said.

“However, it would appear that volatility in the housing market is not fully behind us, with the latest news on inflation sending Swap rates higher and increasing the price of fixed rate mortgages once again.”

Tebb cited the softening of house prices in some areas as the reason for buyer and seller confidence.

“There’s more choice of stock than has been the case for a while and if you can afford to buy, now is a great time to make a move,” he continued.

“Although some buyers will inevitably be worried about higher mortgage rates, there seems to be a growing realisation of the need to adapt to a new, elevated level of pricing, in place of the unsustainable rock-bottom rates of the past.”

He warned sellers and agents needed to price correctly in the first instance and should consider not just price but also timing.

“If you want to move by a certain date, ask your agent about various pricing structures and how being sensitive on price can speed up the time it takes to find a buyer,” he said.

“When the market is in flux, pricing competitively means pricing ultra-realistically.”

Tebb added that the effects of the latest inflation figures may be felt more strongly in June’s data, with the impact of higher mortgage rates and base rate rises “unsettling’ buyers and sellers”.

He continued: “It looks as though the next three months might well be tougher than originally thought and there may be a negative knock-on impact on transaction levels,” he said.

“However, there is no reason why sellers who take advice from an experienced local agent, and price realistically under their guidance cannot still achieve a timely sale.”

Via @PropertyIndustryEye