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Buyer demand cools but 'remains above pre-pandemic levels'

More than a third of England’s regions have seen buyer demand fall over the previous quarter, research claims in the latest sign of a market slowdown.

The latest National Hotspot Index from housing market consultancy TheAdvisory has analysed the number of sold subject to contract and under offer properties as a percentage of total stock for sale in the second quarter to determine where there is a buyer or seller’s market.

This is then translated into a weather forecast or PropCast, which shows whether a market is hot or cold.

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A sellers’ or buyers’ market is designated as:

  • 0°-25° = very cold / extreme buyers’ market
  • 26°-34° = cold / buyers’ market
  • 35°-49° = hot / sellers’ market
  • 50°-100° = very hot / extreme sellers’ market

The research found that 38% of English regions saw a fall in demand, with the South West leading the way as its market heat temperature drops from 71°to 68° - a fall of 4%. 

This is followed by the East Midlands and the North West at a 2% drop. 

Meanwhile, 25% saw a rise in demand, with London leading the way at 8%, followed by the North East at 2%. 

The East of England, South East and Yorkshire & The Humber remained stable. 

However, with all market heat temperatures being over 34°, these locations remain in a hot sellers’ market which means it is easier to sell here.

On a county level, 70% saw buyer demand fall over the last quarter. The biggest drop was Worcestershire where demand fell 38%, with the remaining top ten mostly comprising of the west country and Wales. 

However, with market heat temperatures all being over 34°, these locations are also still in a hot sellers’ market which means it is easier to sell here.

Gavin Brazg, founder of PropCast and TheAdvisory said: “We end the second quarter of 2022 reporting that despite most of the UK being in a hot sellers’ market still, buyer demand is starting to show signs of cooling down. 

“I suspect this is due to a combination of rising energy bills, interest rates and the general cost of living, alongside growing concerns about the economic outlook. 

“A rather interesting find is that London as a region has seen buyer demand rise 8% over the past quarter, which could be a result of international purchasers investing their money once again now that travel restrictions have been removed, as well as people returning to city life having fled to the countryside during the pandemic. 

“Furthermore, for the first time ever since PropCast was founded in 2018, London appears in its top 10 hottest postcode districts, twice.” 

County

Market Temp
June 2022

Market Temp
March 2022

% Quarterly Change

Worcestershire

44°

71°

-38.0%

Dyfed

52°

60°

-13.0%

Grynedd

49°

56°

-13.0%

Powys

54°

61°

11.0%

Herefordshire

60°

66°

-9.0%

Cornwall

62°

68°

-8.0%

Isle of Wight

62°

67°

-8.0%

Gwent

69°

73°

-5.0%

Somerset

67°

71°

-5.0%

Devon

67°

71°

-5.0%

However, separate data from livechat provider Yomdel suggests demand is still above prepandemic levels.

Its property sentiment tracker shows buyer and tenants leads have remained above the 62-week pre-Covid average since the start of 2022. 

Seller leads generated by the live chat was at 137.05% or 37.05% above average in January this year, however, the leads have slowly subsided and returned to baseline figures during the second quarter of the year. 

A similar pattern can be seen with landlord leads, starting at 117.49% in January.

New buyer enquires were at 102.46% at the end of June with demand 2.46% above the pre-Covid average.

This has dropped from the 2022 buyer enquiry peak of 142.98% seen during January but is still higher than the baseline,

Richard Combellack, chief commercial officer at BriefYourMarket, parent company of Yomdel, said: “The 62-week pre-Covid average is an excellent baseline, as all data during the pandemic would obviously not give us an accurate picture due to the unprecedented circumstances influencing the market. 

“While vendor and landlord enquiries were elevated at the start of the year, we have seen figures return to baseline numbers, which means we are seeing a more normalised market in terms of the numbers of vendors and landlords leads. Conversely, buyer and tenant leads have remained elevated during the first two quarters of the year.”

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