What’s going on with the housing market? – March 2023
It can be tempting to take the good news with a pinch of salt or see bad news as exaggerated clickbait. So, we’ve collated the facts for you, no scaremongering, just reliable insights explained in a straightforward manner. Here’s what’s going on with the UK housing market, directly from Rightmove’s monthly House Price Index on the UK property market.
Cautious recovery continues thanks to first-time buyers
Properties with two bedrooms or less typically bought by first-time buyers are bouncing back the fastest. Sales of these types of homes were only slightly below 2019 levels (-4%) in the last two weeks. Plus the average asking prices were just £500 below their peak last year.
We asked Tzana Webster, Director of Property Sales at Watermans, why this is the case. She explained that from what she’s seen so far, first-time buyers have stayed at home with their parents longer and therefore been able to save up for a larger deposit.
Larger homes are still in trouble
Although the average asking prices were up 1.2% this month from last, sales of larger homes have been 10% behind the same period in 2019. But why are the bigger houses taking longer to recover to pre-pandemic levels?
Tzana explained that the difference in smaller and bigger homes is likely to be caused by fewer pandemic-driven moves to bigger homes – remember when we all wanted a garden because we weren’t allowed in the park? Furthermore, buyers are cautious of the cost of living increases, people will have less money to make improvements or even decorate their homes, plus the running costs of larger homes are higher. A smaller home is more appealing to many just now.
A calmer market
Overall, asking prices are only just below their usual seasonal pattern, buyer demand is above 2019 levels, and we can’t deny signs of a cautious recovery. It’s likely those who avoided throwing their hat into the ring and buying/selling properties during the turmoil of the past few years are being tempted now there’s a much steadier market, much like the first-time buyers who waited out the storm with their parents.
At Watermans, we are committed to offering straightforward property advice. Our aim is to cut through the noise of the media scaremongering around economic issues and make sure that you know where you stand with your property sale or purchase.
If you are interested in selling your home, get in touch with our property team today by filling out the form below, or call us on 0131 555 7055.