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Properties taking longer to sell but ‘motivated buyers’ remain

The proportion of listings going under offer within 30 days has dropped from 53% last year to 37% in September 2023, new data suggests.

OnTheMarket’s (OTM) latest Sentiment Index shows the market is slowing but the portal adds that motivated buyers are ‘getting on with it.’

The report shows 74% of active buyers in the UK were confident that they would purchase a property within the next three months and 61% of homeowners are confident about selling.


OTM said 37% of properties were Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being advertised for sale, compared with 38% a month before and 53% in September 2022.
In contrast, the percentage of available homes first listed for sale more than 30 days ago to reach SSTC within 150 days has increased from 10% to 19% over the 12 month period.

Jason Tebb, chief executive of OTM, said: “The housing market has been nothing if not consistent in recent months with our data showing that September saw no real shift in sentiment among buyers and sellers, as those motivated to move got on with it. 

“The Bank of England’s decision to pause consecutive interest rate hikes, keeping base rate at 5.25% was well received and helped bring some welcome stability. Consumers are hoping that we’ve seen base rate peak, with the worst of the pain behind us. 

“While rock-bottom deals are long gone and we must get used to paying more for our mortgages, it’s only when there is some stability and borrowers become less concerned about further rate hikes that they will get off their hands and make big decisions such as whether to move.”

While the markets expect another rate hold at the Bank’s November meeting, Tebb said, all eyes will be on inflation figures before then to see whether they continue moving in the right direction. 

He added: “Despite continued economic uncertainty, serious property seekers are proceeding regardless. The current market is not all about plummeting prices and transactions - far from it. Motivated buyers are still seeking properties, and so serious sellers who want to attract them must price sensitively, taking advice from an experienced local agent.”


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