From here, on the basis that if demand continued in May as it did during the previous month, TwentyCi was able to show how many months of stock were left “on the shelf” for buyers to choose from.
Based on this, while 75% of active buyers in the UK said they were confident that they would purchase a property within the next three months, according to OnTheMarket’s latest sentiment index, TwentyCi calculated that there is just over two months of property stock left to sell.
Buyer confidence in the West Midlands was most in line with stock levels in May, according to the research.
The east Midlands, north west, south east, and Wales demonstrated the greatest disparity between buyer confidence and stock, suggesting that respondents in these regions were more confident of moving in the next three months than the level of stock may allow for.
The largest disparity between seller confidence and the reality of stock levels was in the north west, while the south west saw the smallest disconnect.
The north east ranked as having the second smallest gap between both buyer and seller confidence and months of stock left. This ranking indicates that confidence levels among movers were more realistically aligned with the reality of the local housing market.
Colin Bradshaw, managing director of TwentyCi, said: “While there have been fluctuations in stock levels over the course of the past 12 months, Great Britain’s average months of stock in May 2022 that is left to sell remains the same as it was last May.
“However, comparatively low stock levels, compared with pre-pandemic norms, continue to have an impact. May saw stock levels fall marginally coupled with a corresponding slight decrease in average UK buyer sentiment and steady average UK seller sentiment.
“This trend is replicated in several regions. Yorkshire & The Humber and Scotland go against this trend, where we observe that although buyer confidence has remained consistent in Scotland and actually increased slightly in Yorkshire & The Humber month on month, seller confidence has also risen in the past month in both these regions.”
OnTheMarket’s research found that 82% of sellers in the UK were confident that they would sell their property within the next three months.
It found that 61% of properties on the portal were listed as sold subject to contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being advertised for sale, compared with 55% in May 2021, but slightly down from 63% in April 2022.
Jason Tebb, chief executive of OnTheMarket, said: “A remarkable level of buyer and seller confidence in the housing market prevailed in May, despite considerable headwinds including soaring inflation and another interest rate hike by the Bank of England.
“Against this backdrop, evidence is emerging of a rise in the number of new instructions, suggesting the start of an inevitable rebalancing of supply and demand in the market. Yet this process will take time, and until then, the ‘new normal’, an elevated version of the pre-pandemic market continues, although regional differences in sentiment show that ‘one size does not fit all’.
“As we gradually move towards a more rebalanced market in terms of supply and demand, agents’ expertise and experience will be needed to hold complex chains together and maintain buyer and seller motivations throughout the coming months.
“The value of a good agent shouldn’t be underestimated and while sentiment remains undented for now, those who are the most prepared for their pending transaction will have the advantage.”