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Agency stock surges amid ‘stagnant market’

Sale stock levels have surged by 15% since the start of the year due to the ‘stagnant market,’ research claims.

Quick-buy firm the House Buyer Bureau has analysed the level of residential property stock listed for sale across each county of England and how stock levels have changed in the first three months of 2023 compared with the second quarter of 2022.

The research shows that across the market as a whole, there are some 720,540 homes listed for sale, marking a 15% increase when compared to the first quarter of this year and a 9% annual uplift. 


Rutland ranks as the nation’s most oversaturated property market so far this year, with a 26% increase in for sale stock levels compared with the start of the year.

Across Herefordshire there’s been a 22% increase in homes listed for sale, with Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset also seeing an increase of 20% or more. 

Other counties to make the top 10 include Cumbria, Oxfordshire, Devon, Surrey (and Worcestershire.

On an annual basis, the Isle of Wight has seen the largest increase in for sale stock versus the far hotter market conditions seen this time last year - up 27%. 

Shropshire has seen stock levels increase by 25% year on year, with Lincolnshire, Herefordshire, Cornwall, Devon, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, North Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire also ranking within the top 10. 

Just one city goes against the grain both on a quarterly and annual basis. Across the City of Bristol, available for sale stock has fallen by 9% since the start of this year and sits some 21% below the second quarter of 2022. 

Managing director of House Buyer Bureau Chris Hodgkinson said: “With the exception of Bristol, every county in England has seen the level of available for sale stock climb since the start of the year and this demonstrates the altogether different landscape sellers are facing when compared to 2022. 

“Buyers are acting with far less enthusiasm and, as a result, homes are taking longer to sell, or attracting little to no attention whatsoever. This has inevitably led to an oversaturation of for sale stock and this will naturally cause a further reduction in property values as the bidding wars of the pandemic boom fade into memory. 

“So while this may be good news for the nation’s buyers, those looking to sell are facing a far tougher challenge. Many are unwilling to adjust their price expectations, but this is the reality they face if they want to sell their home quickly and before any further dent to property values materialises.”


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