The TwentyCi Property and Homemover report for Q2 2023 showed that sales agreed during the period rose by 15 per cent to 305,000 acceptances. The average asking price also rose to £447,000, which was six per cent higher than the previous quarter.
A double-digit rise in sales was recorded across all regions and cities, TwentyCi said.
Edinburgh, Leeds and Plymouth recorded increases which respectively exceeded 20 per cent while Manchester was the only region to report a drop in sales, with a two per cent decline.
There was more housing stock available, mostly at the upper end of the market. There was a 45 per cent increase in the availability of homes worth £1m or more since the start of the pandemic. In contrast, there were 79,000 fewer properties worth £200,000 and below when compared to 2019.
It said the stock shortage was “over” for homes worth £350,000 or more but remains prevalent at lower pricing tiers.
TwentyCi said 1.25m households were progressing with the moving process at the start of Q3 2023 and an additional 60,000 planned to move soon. This brought the total number of people considering a move in the next few months to 350,103.
Mortgage ‘stress’ impacting activity
New instructions were 11 per cent higher in Q2, which TwentyCi said could be partially due to “mortgage stress”. However, it noted there was still “significant and core level” activity.
The firm said challenges around mortgages were also evident in the 10 per cent rise in fall throughs and the 0.4 per cent increase in withdrawals. This represented 173,178 withdrawals and 69,940 fall throughs.
The number of exchanges also fell by 13 per cent to 176,941, which the firm put down to a lower level of sales agreed in the previous quarter.
Colin Bradshaw, managing director at TwentyCi, said: “There has been no shortage of speculation declaring doom for the housing market.
“The economic backdrop does, of course, remain a concern and all eyes should be on whether inflation slows and so interest rates stabilise, but the signs are that the owner-occupied market is proving remarkably resilient.”
Undersupply continues to plague the rental market
TwentyCi said a lack of rental supply coupled with an increase in demand continued to impact this part of the market.
New rental instructions fell by one per cent in Q2 and the firm said there were 35 per cent fewer properties available to let when compared to 2019.
The average rent has also reached £1,762 a month, which is £100 more than the last quarter and nearly £400 higher than in 2019.
TwentyCi predicted that rents would keep increasing as potential buyers delay purchases and tenants stay in their properties for longer, meaning there are fewer available to rent.
Bradshaw added: “The rental sector is where a real impasse remains, and structural forces are leading to a perfect storm of increasing demand and reducing supply.”