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‘Needs-based home buyers’ to dominate start of 2023 ‒ Savills

  • 20/12/2022
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‘Needs-based home buyers’ to dominate start of 2023 ‒ Savills
Activity in the housing market in the early months of 2023 will be driven by those with no option but to move, because of relationship breakdowns, work changes or bereavements, according to Savills.

A survey of prospective buyers from Savills found that commitment towards going through with a deal has improved from back in August, when it hit its lowest point since the start of the pandemic.

It also pinpointed two buyer groups who are most likely to be active in 2023 ‒ needs-based buyers, and ‘right-size’ buyers who are able to take advantage of being equity rich.

Of those who gave a reason for moving, 41 per cent said they were downsizing, 36 per cent were upsizing, and 23 per cent said they were in the market because of a lifestyle change, such as a relationship breakdown, bereavement, or change in employment necessitating a move.

Savills suggested that it’s those who need to move who are likely to be the strongest short-term drivers of demand in the market in the early months of 2023.

It noted that while a net balance of  +3 per cent said they were committed to moving within the next three months, this rose to between +20 per cent and +48 per cent among those looking to move through necessity, with those moving due a relationship breakdown the most committed.

By contrast, those looking to upsize or downsize to a property that better meets their needs or budgets are more likely to take longer in order to conclude a deal. The survey found that their commitment to move increased over longer timeframes, such as 12-24 months.

Frances McDonald, residential research analyst at Savills, said that things have somewhat stabilised following the “tumultuous” mini‒Budget, which has led to a more positive outlook among potential buyers.

She added: “While there are very clear headwinds, this survey suggests that there is a strong seam of demand in the market, but that it will be clearly split between those who need to move quickly and more discretionary buyers equally committed to moving but happy to bide their time over the next 12-24 months, to ensure that they get the right home at the right price.”

On price, around three quarters of Savills agents said there had been a marked increase in buyers coming forward who were looking to take advantage of expected lower house prices next year.

It also noted that the legacy of the pandemic, where buyers were driven by lifestyle choices and the desire to enjoy more space for their money, is still going strong. 

McDonald said: “Buyers are also continuing to prioritise proximity to parks and open spaces, and family, above transport, amenities and schools. Only in London has proximity to the nearest train or tube station overtaken parks and open spaces, with proximity to family in fourth place behind shops and amenities.”

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