Rightmove: Sales agreed have returned to pre-pandemic levels

Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2023

The number of home sales being agreed is now back to its pre-pandemic level for the first time since before the disastrous mini-Budget in September, Rightmove claims.

New figures from the portal show sales agreed between sellers and buyers are now just 1% behind March 2019’s levels. 

Rightmove said the recovery is being driven by flats with agreed sales now 10% above 2019 after being 11% down at the start of the year.
This is most pronounced in London, where agreed sales of flats are now 23% higher than March 2019.

The total number of sales agreed have recovered from being 21% behind 2019’s levels in January, according to the research.

Overall sales agreed have recovered the most in London and are now 11% higher than March 2019, while sales agreed in the East Midlands are taking longest to catch up and are still 11% below 2019.

Across Great Britain, agreed sales are still 18% below the exceptionally busy market of this time last year and there is of course no guarantee that these sales will complete.

A third of properties have seen a price reduction, which is up from last year’s 19% during the frenetic market, but in line with the pre-pandemic level of 34%, Rightmove said.

Its property expert Tim Bannister added: “The market is remaining surprisingly robust given the economic headwinds that have affected movers over the last six months. While the market is by no means at the exceptional level it has been over the last couple of years, it is a positive sign for agents that sales at a national level are being agreed at the same rate as the last more normal market of 2019, though there are regional differences across Great Britain.

"The level and size of reductions has also returned to its pre-pandemic norm, though pricing right the first time can often lead to a quicker sale, so it’s important for sellers to speak to an agent about their local market so that they price realistically and give themselves the best chance of finding a buyer.”

Via @EstateAgentToday