June’s property market analysis

We’re almost halfway through 2022 and there is time to reflect on the current property market. Although the interest rate has risen, the impact has yet to hit buyer demand, with buyer numbers still high. Estate agents participating in Propertymark’s latest study reported an average of 100 purchasers registered per branch.

There is, however, a contrast between buyer demand and the number of properties for sale. This recurring theme was illustrated in the same Propertymark study. It found there were 52% fewer properties available in April 2022 compared to the same month in the previous nine years.

Sellers shelling-out over the asking price

Competition between buyers remains fierce – an aspect that should encourage sellers to come to market. As a result of demand, purchasers are willing to bid high to secure a property. In fact, 39% of agents say the majority of their stock sold above asking price.

House prices continue to rise

Rather than a cooling market that property commentators had predicted, the rate at which house prices are climbing accelerated in May. Previously, growth had shown signs of slowing, dropping to 0.3% in April from 1.1% in March.

May, however, saw the growth rate of price rises bounce back. The Nationwide detailed a 0.9% uplift in property values – the tenth month in a row where values had increased. Annual price growth now stands at 11.2%.

Rising property values have also led to a new property record. In May, Zoopla’s house price index revealed the UK’s average house price had topped £250,000 for the first time. Demand that’s 61% over the five-year average and a 37% dip in the number of homes for sale have combined with a willingness to pay over the asking price to create a new average house price of £250,200.

The residential side of agency isn’t the only place to have experienced increases. Goodlord’s May rental index shows that rents rose by 0.83% in May. This results in English tenants paying a new average monthly rent of £1,020. Rents are now 11% more expensive when compared to a year ago.

Potential buyers have two pieces of news to digest this month. The Government stunned the property industry by announcing a change to its Help to Buy scheme. The Government has brought this deadline forward, with Help to Buy purchasers needing to reserve a property before 6pm on 31st October 2022 It had been advertised that reservations needed to be made by December 2022.

There are successors to Help to Buy

The earlier reservation deadline will ensure all sales legally exchange before Help to Buy ends in March 2023. Anyone hoping to buy a new home using the scheme – which allows purchasers to buy a property with a 5% deposit – should not delay their property search. Alternatives still running after Help to Buy ends include the Government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme, shared ownership and First Homes.

Those who are buying a property in the near future are being advised to pay particular attention to their circumstance. A new poll among 940 estate agents looked into who was to blame for sales falling through. Respondents said 46% of collapsed sales were due to problems on the buyer’s side, with 22% saying purchasers further up or down the chain caused issues.

Fallthrough rates remain low

Conveyancers and solicitors, however, didn’t escape the wrath of estate agents. Of those questioned, 17% found it was the legal teams who were behind transactions that failed to complete. Thankfully fallthrough rates are low. Almost 3 out of 4 agents taking part in the research (70%) said fewer than 9% of their sales fell through.

The property sector loves a study and the latest English Private Landlord Survey found 90% of landlords plan to keep renting out their buy-to-lets after their current tenancy agreement expires. When it comes to adding properties to their portfolios, 11% of landlords said they plan to purchase additional buy-to-let.

If you would like to know more about your local property market, please get in touch.