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More homes sell below asking price as property viewings drop – Propertymark

  • 21/08/2023
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More homes sell below asking price as property viewings drop – Propertymark
Well over three quarters (81 per cent) of estate agents reported that the homes on their books sold for less than asking price in July amid a 98 per cent year-on-year fall in viewings.

The Propertymark housing report for July showed that the average number of viewings per property decreased from three in June to 1.5 in July. The association said this suggested that buyers were securing properties quickly. 

Additionally, the average number of prospective buyers registered per estate agency branch dropped from 86 in June to 64 in July. Again, Propertymark said this showed that mostly serious buyers remained in the market. 

Despite the drop in buyer interest, the supply of new homes rose slightly to 10 per member branch while the number of sales agreed increased to eight. 

In total, estate agents had 38 available homes on their books in July, up from 32 the month before. Annually, this was a 37 per cent rise in available properties and the highest level of homes for sale in the last 12 months. 

There was a drop in the number of appraisals carried out per estate agency from 22 in June to 21 in July. 

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said: “The sales market remains buoyant despite rising mortgage rates with the number of sales agreed in July at eight per member branch, this is broadly in line with what was reported during the busy market period in July 2022.  

“As the number of viewings and valuations drop, this indicates a shift to only the more serious homebuyers and sellers remaining proactive in the market. Those properties that are currently for sale with motivated vendors in line with the market are selling quickly.” 


Tenant arrears rise

The number of prospective rental tenants rose by nearly 38 per cent from 127 in July 2022 to 187 this year. 

This was also significantly higher than the 118 prospective tenants recorded in June.  

The average number of properties available to rent rose from nine in June to 14 in July, but Propertymark said this was still below the level of stock needed to meet demand. 

In July, there were 13 prospective tenants registering for each available property. 

Some 70 per cent of estate agents said rents had risen over the month and noted that six per cent of tenants had fallen into arrears, up from three per cent in February. 


Rental supply/demand issues continue

Emerson added: “In the lettings market, we continue to see an alarming disparity in the number of homes available to rent when compared with growing demand from prospective tenants. The number of prospective new tenants is up by 38 per cent in July compared to the same time last year, yet the number of properties available per member branch has risen by only 24 per cent meaning this gap is continuing to widen from already worrying levels.  

“This mismatch in supply and demand is putting pressure on rents with six per cent of tenants per member branch falling into arrears doubling compared to February 2023. Governments across the UK need to urgently address the fundamental problem of undersupply and look to adequately incentivise the provision of desperately needed homes in the private rented sector.” 

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