Home Sweet Home: Zoopla Reports Six-Year High in Available Properties

properties for sale

The UK property market is experiencing a significant shift as the number of homes available for sale hits a six-year high, according to recent data released by Zoopla. The surge, with sales volumes now 15% higher than a year ago, is setting the stage for a robust buyers’ market, bringing both opportunities and considerations for prospective buyers and sellers alike.

Buyer’s Delight: Unlocking Opportunities

For those in search of a new home, this surge in supply translates to increased options and enhanced negotiating power. Zoopla reports that buyers are securing an average discount of £18,000 off their next home to close a sale. The discount to the asking price for achieved sales is at a five-year high, reaching 5.5% for sales in the first half of November, compared to the 3.4% average discount earlier in 2023.

This trend is particularly evident in the South of England, where the average discount in London and the South East stands at 6.1%, equating to a substantial £25,000 reduction from the asking price. Despite a 13% decrease in buyer demand compared to 2019, new sales are still being agreed, with the total volume currently 15% higher than the previous year.

Seller’s Savvy: A Changing Landscape

Sellers are adapting to the evolving market conditions, displaying greater realism and flexibility. The market is on track to see one million sales completions in 2023, with the rebound in supply especially pronounced in three and four+ bed family homes across the UK. The number of homes available for sale has reached a six-year high, with 34% more homes on the market compared to the previous year. This surge means that the average estate agency branch now boasts over 31 homes for sale, providing a wealth of choices for potential buyers.

Despite the positive outlook for buyers, the increased supply is likely to exert downward pressure on prices as price-sensitive buyers continue to negotiate. However, the overall market remains dynamic, with varying trends in different regions.

A Closer Look: Regional Dynamics

While much of the UK is witnessing a decline in house prices, particularly in single-digit annual falls across all price bands, London stands out. The capital’s house prices, though high in absolute terms, have not kept pace with the rest of the UK over the last six years. With an increase of only 8% compared to the rest of the UK’s 28%, London’s property market is navigating its unique trajectory.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, emphasizes the favorable conditions for homebuyers, citing a growing acceptance among sellers that the value of a home a year ago is now largely academic. With average house prices still £41,350 higher than the start of the pandemic, sellers are finding ample room for negotiation.

The current landscape presents a promising scenario for both buyers and sellers. The surge in homes for sale opens up a myriad of options for buyers, while sellers can navigate the market with flexibility and realistic expectations. As we approach the close of 2023 and look ahead to 2024, the UK property market continues to evolve, offering a dynamic and vibrant space for those seeking their next home.

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