The ‘race for space’ is over and the property market is returning to pre-pandemic levels, Nicky Stevenson claims.
Stevenson, managing director of upmarket agency brand Fine & Country, said ater three years of somewhat unusual housing market activity, 2023 looks to be a calmer market.
Based on portal reports, she has suggested property trends are heading back to those last seen in 2019.
Stevenson said: “London returned to its top spot as the most searched-for location in 2022, and while levels of new buyer demand faltered as 2022 drew to a close, in affordable and accessible urban areas demand is firm.
“UK price growth remains in positive territory, however, Nationwide report the annual rate of growth fell for the fourth consecutive month in December 2022, to 2.8%, with month-on-month prices dropping by 0.1%.”
Looking at the prime markets, Stevenson said that across England and Wales annual price growth remains positive in all regions, although there is evidence of a North/South split in fortunes compared to a year ago.
She added: “Annual price growth has moderated significantly across the North and the Midlands, while annual price growth in prime markets across the South and London is currently stronger.”
Stevenson predicted that the 2023 market will favour the buyer, although purchasers will be more cautious and more price sensitive than in recent times.
She said: “Realistic pricing from sellers for market conditions will be crucial to achieving a sale. Rightmove reported that at 2.1%, the fall in newly-listed prices in December was higher than usual, and Zoopla report that the proportion of properties selling with a price reduction is on the rise.
“With less competition in the market, the time taken to sell a property is edging upwards in all regions except London. However, at 45 days in November, it remains considerably lower than the 67 days recorded for November 2019. Discretionary purchasers have dominated the market in recent times and needs-based buyers are set to assume a higher proportion of sales this year.”
She notes that affordability, both in terms of household costs and mortgages, will undoubtedly impact the market of 2023.