OnTheMarket Property Sentiment Index July 2022: Serious buyers and sellers remain confident about prospects for the housing market despite sizeable headwinds

by | Jul 18, 2022

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  • As a UK average, in June 2022 only 4% of movers were concerned (either very worried or slightly concerned) about securing a mortgage to fund the purchase of their next property, unchanged when compared to May 2022 (4%)
  • Greater London had the highest number of respondents who already had their mortgage Agreement In Principle in place prior to starting their search for a property (42%). The South West and Scotland jointly had the lowest number of respondents who already had a mortgage Agreement In Principle in place before starting their property search (29%)
  • 75% of active buyers in the UK were confident that they would purchase a property within the next 3 months
  • 81% of sellers in the UK were confident that they would sell their property within the next 3 months
  • 60% of properties were Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being advertised for sale, compared with 57% in June 2021
  • The ‘new normal’, an elevated version of the pre-pandemic market, continues

Buyer and seller sentiment remained strong in June, despite soaring inflation and the prospect of further interest rate rises creating sizeable headwinds for the housing market. A subtle rebalancing of the market inevitably continues as stock levels keep rising, partly down to the seasonal effect of summer when more homes traditionally come to market. This is leading to a steadier, more manageable environment after the frenzy of the past two years, a ‘new normal’ or elevated version of the pre-pandemic market.

Our data shows that in June, serious buyers were determined to proceed with 75% confident that they’d purchase a property within three months, the same percentage as in May. Meanwhile, 81% of sellers were confident that they could complete a sale within the same timeframe, falling only slightly from 82% in May.

The readjustment in the housing market is inevitable as more stock becomes available and this will likely take several months for the effects to be seen. Whatever happens, those most serious about transacting will get on and do so. Even during the financial crisis of 2008, where residential transaction numbers halved compared with the previous year, there were still hundreds of thousands of sellers who moved because they had their reasons for doing so. While there are different headwinds facing the market now, these are not yet impacting the need or desire of many to move. HM Revenue & Customs reports that transaction numbers have stabilised in recent months but they remain somewhat elevated compared to before the pandemic.

Of particular interest in June’s data is the 60% of properties in the UK SSTC within 30 days of first being advertised for sale. We would not expect this number to be as high as May’s figure as we encounter distractions such as the approaching summer holidays and children breaking up from school. But given that the figure was 61% in May, the reduction is extremely slight and it’s surprising how strong it remains. With properties selling as quickly as ever, the data further underlines how the most keen and motivated are getting on with the business of moving.

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