Homes for sale at five-year high, says Zoopla

Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The supply of homes for sale has hit a five year high with 20% more homes on the market versus last year, new day data from Zoopla has revealed.

Compared to spring 2022, the property websites says supply has improved the most in Cornwall (+159%), North Kesteven, Lincolnshire (+155%) and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (+146%) where prices have also increased significantly over the last five years.

Supply is highest in the South West, where agents have 2.5x as many homes for sale compared to spring 2022. It’s thanks to large capital gains over the last five years that are continuing to motivate homeowners to sell in these areas. In Cornwall alone, prices have risen by over a quarter (27%), whilst prices in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch (South East Dorset) have risen by a fifth (20%) meaning current sellers in these areas stand to make a potential buck.

However, extra supply also means more choice for buyers in these coastal areas. A return to office or hybrid working means that many potential buyers may not be motivated to move for a lifestyle change. This moderation in non-local buyer demand is having a knock-on effect on the time it takes to sell a property. For example, in Cornwall it’s taking 20 days longer on average to sell a property compared to spring 2022, and 23 days longer in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole – versus a national average of 16 days.

Whilst the South West is enjoying bumper supply, Wales and the East Midlands are also enjoying high levels of homes for sale. However, in these locations over 60% of stock currently on the market is priced above the regional average indicating a potential mismatch between what buyers can pay and what’s available to buy.

Unlike during the pandemic which saw a spike in sales in the likes of Monmouthshire as buyers sought a potential lifestyle change, areas next to Cardiff such as Caerphilly and the Vale of Glamorgan are experiencing large jumps in available properties. In East Midlands, the jump in supply is most pronounced in more rural areas such as southern Lincolnshire and Derbyshire, including the Peak District which are also priced above the regional average. This indicates that the stock of homes for sale in the higher-value markets is moving slower as affordability remains a bigger challenge for potential buyers in areas where larger budgets are required.

It is good news for families looking to upsize with the average agent outside London having twice as many 4+ bed homes available compared to February 2022.

The selection of three-bedroom homes (which consistently rank as the most popular property type) has also improved, with 25% more available compared to this time last year.

Over half of buyers (50%) look for a property with a specific feature in mind with current housing supply favouring external features. For example, the supply of homes for sale with external space, outbuildings and annexes has increased by over 70%, while there are also 86% more houses available with parking and 63% more houses available with a garage compared to February 2022.

Izabella Lubowicka, senior property researcher at Zoopla, commented: “The current spring boost in supply on the market is giving potential buyers more choice than ever, but affordability continues to impact budgets. Sellers putting their homes on the market need to keep that in mind and ensure they are pricing their property realistically in order to achieve a sale.”

Via @PropertyIndustryEye