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OnTheMarket: Seller confidence dipped in December

Buyer confidence remained flat – or consistent depending on your view of the property market in December – while seller sentiment has taken a slight dip, OnTheMarket (OTM) data suggests.

The portal’s latest Property Sentiment Index showed buyer confidence about purchasing a property in the next three months during December remained at 71%.

Seller sentiment was slightly down, with 55% confident of selling in the three months from December, down from 56% in November.

There were significant regional variations in seller sentiment.

Seller confidence saw a seven percentage-point increase in Scotland in December to 61%, compared with a seven percentage-point decrease in Wales at 51%.

The biggest variation was in London, which saw a 15 percentage-point decrease in seller confidence to 51%.

Jason Tebb, chief executive of OTM, suggested this may just be a Christmas blip, adding: “Anecdotally, some London agents are reporting that vendors whose properties had been on the market for a few months became less confident about their chances of finding a buyer as activity dipped in December. “

The index also showed that listings continue to take longer to go under offer.

The research showed 32% of properties were Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being advertised for sale, compared with 38% in December 2022 

Meanwhile, 25% of listings first put up for sale more than 30 days ago were SSTC within 150 days.

Tebb added: “Although we might have expected a December dip in confidence, the data tells a different story.

“Those who forecasted a significant, double-digit drop in house prices may be proven wrong. 

“Challenging macroeconomic conditions mean property prices are off their peak but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the overall health of the market and will bring some cheer for first time buyers. Buyers who have been waiting to return to the market may well decide to get on with it, rather than continuing to put plans on hold.

“Although there will be a General Election this year, many have already factored in a potential change of Government and rather than worrying about what may or may not happen, are getting on with their own lives and taking advantage of more competitive mortgage rates.”


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