Both supply and demand fell slightly in October, says Propertymark, and the number of properties sold at a discount suggest the market is moving to favour buyers, it adds.
Its latest housing report shows that the number of new buyers registering per Propertymark member branch fell from 83 in September to 64 in October – a 5% drop on an annual basis.
And new instructions decreased from 12 to nine per member branch across the monthly period. The report adds that nine is the 12-month average, however, “Suggesting no dramatic change but rather a contraction in line with demand.”
The average number of properties available per branch was static, at 30.
Meanwhile, the number of sales agreed per member branch fell from 10 in September to seven in October – and 69% of branches saw “most” October sales agreed at a discount.
For reference, this was 15% in March and compares to a 2015 to 2020 average of 78%, “suggesting we are still not back to the normal market balance.”
In the rental arena, the number of new applicants registered per branch collapsed from 147 in September to 85 in October (although the report is quick to add that the average between 2018 and 2019 was 72 per branch.
Supply dipped only slightly, from 11 in September to nine in October.
And 88% of branches said rents have gone up. It was only in July that this number stood at 82.
Propertymark chief executive Nathan Emerson says: “For the first time, our figures indicate that we are on the cusp of seeing the sales market hand back purchasing power to buyers, which is a trend we haven’t seen in months as the market was very much in the seller’s favour.
“Signs of balance within the market is also being seen as competition for homes starts to slow, which will allow the number of properties available to buy to fall back in line and a return to a more realistic and sustainable market.
“As for lettings, we are now seeing a slight decrease in the number of prospective tenants registered per branch as due to the ongoing lack of supply, a hike in rent prices was seen across the UK. This should start to ease pressures on rents at a crucial time for many as the cost of living crisis continues to pinch at people’s finances.”