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Higher buyer demand brings sellers back to property market – Zoopla

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  • 16/02/2024
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Higher buyer demand brings sellers back to property market – Zoopla
Buyer demand was up by 11 per cent annually in January, bringing property sellers back to the market, data from a property portal firm showed.

According to Zoopla, declining mortgage rates and pent-up buyer demand from the second half of last year had a positive impact on January’s activity. 

London recorded the strongest rebound in buyer demand and interest, followed by the North East and North West. 

This return in confidence had an impact on sellers too, as Zoopla’s data showed that the flow of new homes for sale was 10 per cent higher than the same period last year. According to Zoopla, this was also the highest level of activity since 2020. 

The regions with the fastest pace of home listings were the East of England, South West and North East. 

 

Rise in agreed sales 

There was an increase in agreed sales, Zoopla found, with its data showing a rise across all regions and countries in the UK. 

This was most prevalent in six regions, including London, the South East and Yorkshire and the Humber, where sales were up by more than a tenth. 

Zoopla said this was helped by the fact there were “a fifth more homes for sale” than last year. 

The firm said there was a better balance between sellers and buyers now compared to the last three years, along with signs that selling prices were starting to rise again. 

Its report said: “It’s important sellers keep their feet on the ground. 

“The positive news is that finding a buyer is going to be easier for most sellers, but more choice of homes for sale will mean greater room for negotiation.” 

 

More than a month to agree a sale 

In 2023, the average time for a home to reach the agreed sale stage was 34 days, which was two weeks longer than 2022, when homes were sold within 20 days. 

The longest sales periods last year reached up to 40 days in London and the South East, while the fastest sales periods were in Scotland at 20 days and the North East at 30 days. 

Zoopla’s report said: “This difference primarily reflects housing affordability and the impact of higher mortgage rates on buying power in markets with high house prices. It’s why falling mortgage rates are boosting activity more in southern England, especially London.” 

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