According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) October UK Residential Market Survey, demand is still falling faster than supply.
New buyer enquiries posted a net balance of -28% during October, marking eighteen successive months in which this indicator has been in negative territory. Nevertheless, the latest reading is less downcast compared to a figure of -37% seen in the September survey and represents the least negative return since May 2023.
For agreed sales, the latest net balance of -25% is consistent with generally weak activity levels over October. However, the reading is again less negative than figures of -45% and -35% recorded in August and September respectively.
New residential listings coming to market continue to slow, evidenced by a net balance reading of -7% for October. Respondents to the survey report that the number of market appraisals undertaken over the month is below that seen in the equivalent period of last year, with a net balance of -51%.
When looking at more than 600,000 property listings to see which features led to the highest number of enquiries to estate agents, Rightmove has found that fixer-upper homes, or those that are described as needing refurbishment, are at the top of the list for buyers.
Two groups of buyers compete for this type of home: first-time buyers looking for a cheaper property to get on the ladder which they can refurbish over time and investors looking to grab a bargain and do it up to sell or rent out.
Conversely, house hunters looking for a refurbished home can expect to pay an extra £70,000 on average for the privilege (19% more than the average national house price).
Rightmove’s Tim Bannister commented, “This really shows the different priorities that home-movers have – some are in a more fortunate position to be able to consider buying a newly refurbished home, while others want to put their own stamp on a home and do it up from scratch, or they may realise that if they buy now they can spend time doing up the house a room at a time.”
As part of the government reshuffle, Lee Rowley has replaced Rachel Maclean as Housing Minister.
Rowley is the sixteenth Housing Minister since the Conservatives came into power in 2010 and he held the same position during the short-lived premiership of Liz Truss. He will oversee the Renters’ Reform Bill, which is now at Committee stage, with findings scheduled to be reported back to the House of Commons by 5 December 2023.
The new Housing Minister will also address the Leasehold and Freehold Bill, confirmed in the recent King’s Speech. This Bill aims to eliminate punitive service charges and facilitate easier acquisition of freeholds by leaseholders.
HOUSE PRICE INDEX (SEPTEMBER 2023)
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
*(Jan 2015 = 100)
|REGION||Monthly Change (%)||Annual Change (%)||Average Price (£)|
|NORTHERN IRELAND (QUARTER 2 – 2023)||3.1%||2.1%||£180,000|
|EAST OF ENGLAND||-0.4%||-1.4%||£353,000|
|WEST MIDLANDS REGION||-0.2%||0.5%||£254,000|
|YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER||-2.4%||0.0%||£210,000|
|Property Type||Annual Increase|
Source: The Land Registry Release date: 15/11/23
“With Bank Rate not expected to decline significantly in the years ahead, borrowing costs are unlikely to return to the historic lows seen in the aftermath of the pandemic. Instead, it appears likely that a combination of solid income growth, together with modestly lower house prices and mortgage rates, will gradually improve affordability over time, with housing market activity remaining fairly subdued in the interim.”
Robert Gardner, Chief Economist, Nationwide Source: Nationwide November 2023
Contains HM Land Registry data © Crown copyright and database right 2023.
This data is licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
All details are correct at the time of writing (15 November 2023)
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