Property market news round-up for home sellers

Property market news round-up for home sellers

The clocks may have gone back, but that doesn't mean that the property market is starting to slow down. In fact, the next few weeks will be an extremely busy time as estate agents and sellers work to get transactions over the line, and movers look to relocate before Christmas and the New Year.

If you're selling a property or thinking about moving, it's important to keep one eye on the market and stay up to date with the most important headlines. With this in mind, here at Tepilo, for your convenience we've put together a round-up of the biggest stories affecting property sellers and movers across the UK.


Buyer activity returns to pre-referendum levels

The latest figures from the country's estate agents show that after a slightly slow summer – a typically quieter period which was magnified by the Brexit vote this year – activity among prospective buyers has ramped up again.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has revealed that in September, the average agent had 333 house hunters registered, up from 287 the previous month and akin to the number recorded in June, before the EU referendum.

This is of course good news for property sellers as more buyers increases the chance of a quicker sale and a higher asking price.

As well as an increase in the number of interested buyers, the NAEA reports that the number of completed transactions also increased during September.


Downsizing could help solve the housing crisis

There remains a shortage of homes in the UK and one thing which could help ease this shortage is downsizing, according to retirement rentals firm Girlings.

The company claims that the over 65s are currently sitting on over £1 trillion worth of property wealth and that a mass downsizing could free up approximately four million additional homes.

Peter Girling, who owns the firm, says that more appropriate retirement homes for sale or rent need to be provided in order to improve the flow of movers up and down the property ladder.


Are sellers overpricing their properties in the current market?

When selling a property it's natural that you want to achieve the highest asking price possible. However, Post Office Money has blamed overpricing for increasing the average sales time in the UK.

Post Office's research suggests that it currently takes the average property in the UK some 91 days to sell.

Its report shows Bristol (51 days) and Edinburgh (53 days) as the UK cities with the highest turnover of property for sale, while sellers in Swansea (100 days) and Liverpool (108 days) are likely to have to wait the longest to put up a 'Sold' board.

John Willcock, Post Office Money's head of mortgages, says that rising house prices have encouraged many people to put their homes on the market at inflated prices, but properties are not guaranteed to sell quickly – even in housing hotspots like London.

Getting the asking price right is an important part of the sales process and, as you can see, overpricing could mean a property stays on the market for a lot longer than anticipated.


Mortgage approvals down on 2015 levels

Interest from prospective buyers may be on the rise, but two recent reports suggest that the number of mortgage approvals is down when compared to last year.

The British Bankers' Association recently reported that mortgage approvals in September were 15% lower than the same month in 2015. Meanwhile, figures from the Bank of England claim that approvals in September were down 10% when compared with 2015.

Although mortgage activity may not have been quite as high as 2015, both reports suggest that the market has rebounded from summer lows recorded in the wake of the Brexit vote.


UK house prices to grow in 2017, but London set to struggle

Inevitably, as we move towards 2017, research firms begin to make their forecasts for the year ahead. One of the first to be published this time around comes from the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).

The organisation predicts that house price growth across the UK will remain resilient throughout 2017, but that prices in the capital could struggle.

It forecasts that nationwide property price growth will sit at 2.6% next year, some 4.3 percentage points lower than the figure recorded in 2016 so far.

In the capital, however, the CEBR says there'll be negative growth, with average prices dropping by 5.6% over the year.

The researchers say that Brexit uncertainty is the chief reason for their more tempered predictions for 2017. It'll certainly be interesting to see if other forecasters give a similar assessment in the coming weeks.

That's it for now, we'll be back with another property news round-up in a few weeks.