OnTheMarket: Buyer’s market has shifted to level playing field

Posted on Monday, May 20, 2024

A level playing field has emerged between buyers and sellers as purchasers have become less certain of their position, OnTheMarket (OTM) claims.

The portal’s latest Property Sentiment Index highlights that buyer and seller confidence has diverged over the past six months.

in October, 72% of buyers were confident they’d buy within three months compared with 58% of sellers confident they’d sell within the same timeframe, OTM’s index showed.

Since then, seller confidence has improved while buyer confidence has waned.

As of April 2024, 64% of active buyers in the UK were confident that they would purchase a property within the next three months, while the equivalent figure for sellers is 61%.

Jason Tebb, president of OTM, said: “There’s been a rebalancing from what was a bullish buyer’s market in the latter part of last year to a more level playing field. 

“Buyers appear less certain of the strength of their position, which may have something to do with the uncertainty that continues to prevail – not just with interest rates, inflation and when an election will be called in the UK – but also wider international concerns.

With Nationwide Building Society reporting a slowing in annual house price growth in April, buyers are not prepared, or able, to pay any price to secure a property.

“Nationwide also reports that half of those considering buying a home in the next five years have delayed their plans over the past year. While some agents report competition and bidding wars for desirable properties in areas where stock is scarce, others suggest buyers are bargaining hard, with those reliant on mortgages mindful that borrowing is more expensive so buying a property will cost them more.”

The report also found that 41% of properties were sold subject to contract within 30 days of first being advertised for sale in April, down from 45% in March, but an improvement on six months ago, when it was 36%in October.

Tebb added: “The sluggish market at the end of last year has undergone a steady recovery, buoyed by cheaper mortgage rates and increased optimism.

“The boom-and-bust of old has gradually been replaced with incremental changes and adjustments, more sensible pricing and buyers prepared to negotiate hard, particularly in light of higher borrowing costs. It’s a good time to buy and sell, before the date of the General Election is announced and uncertainty prevails once more.”

Via @EstateAgentToday