New buyer numbers jump 10% as market ‘stirs from its slumber’


'It’s increasingly clear the market is not heading over a cliff', says Knight Frank.

Gloomy predictions of a property market collapse are looking increasingly wide of the mark, with fresh data showing buyer demand is more than holding up across the UK.

Knight Frank is not expecting a surge in transactions or prices as we approach the traditional spring selling season, but says it’s “increasingly clear the market is not heading over a cliff”.

The number of new prospective property buyers registering with the estate agency in February was 10% above the five-year average. This follows the surprise 1.1% average price rise recorded by Halifax’s index last month, and some encouraging results from the latest RICS survey.

Other indicators serve to show the mini-Budget hangover has yet to fully lift.

Offers made were down by 7% in February, but the gap is expected to close as post-Christmas transactions progress; exchanges were down by a quarter in February, despite being up by 5% in October.

“Whatever way you cut the data, it tells the story of a market that woke up in January after a three-month slumber,” said KF’s UK head of resi research, Tom Bill, suggesting the national market is likely to see a “solid but not spectacular” year ahead.

“Most buyers have quickly accepted where mortgage rates are settling,” added Nigel Mitchell, head of the agency’s south-east region. “In a strong market, houses with drawbacks will get competitive bidding but I would describe this as a normal market, so some asking prices will come under pressure as budgets get revised down. However, properties that tick all the boxes are still going for above the asking price.”

Source: primeresi.com

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