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Chestertons: Market will remain on ice until the summer

The rush to complete property purchases continued throughout November but fewer sellers are now coming to market, a major estate agency claims.

Data from Chestertons shows exchanges were up 16% annually during November and were also 12% higher than October.

The level of withdrawn offers and aborted sales both fell by 10%, which the brand said suggests that buyers and sellers were being more committed and decisive than usual


However, while many people were rushing to complete their property purchases before Christmas, the number of new people coming onto the market to buy or sell properties was between 20% and 30% lower in November compared with 12 months ago, according to Chestertons.

Its 2023 market forecast anticipates a major fall in activity and the agent said its figures for November confirm the market has now entered the six to 10 months ‘pause for breath’ phase. 

During this period, the majority of sales are likely to be either lateral moves in price terms in order to get more space, discrete off-market deals or buyers seeing the lull in activity as an opportunity to trade-up in value to a home which would otherwise be out of their reach in a more competitive market, the agency brand said.

Matthew Thompson, head of sales for Chestertons, said: “We’re expecting the number of properties coming to the open market to be much lower than normal until next summer. 

“This will contribute to a 25% decrease in the number of sales happening next year, which in turn will support price levels. 

“Buyers are still there, but most are waiting for the right opportunity to appear. If you are weighing up what to do next year, it is really important to talk to your local estate agent and get yourself on their radar. Just because you can’t see what you want to buy online, doesn’t mean it isn’t available or a deal can’t be done.”

In its 2023 forecast, Chestertons outlines that it believes this temporary freeze in activity will cause a degree of frustrated demand to build throughout the first half of next year, adding to those moves placed on hold in 2022 due to concerns over the economy, Government and the direction of interest rates. 

As from next summer, this demand should begin to trickle back into the market causing prices to start rising again going into 2024.


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