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Three-quarters of homebuyers confident of purchase within three months

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

Increasing numbers of potential buyers are confident of completing a purchase in the next three months, according to a new survey.

That’s according to the latest property sentiment index from OnTheMarket, which found that 71% of hopeful buyers believe they will pick up a new property within the next quarter. That’s up from the 69% registered in February, with OnTheMarket suggesting this was evidence of the “green shoots” of the housing market.

The data found a smaller increase in confidence among sellers too, with 63% of vendors confident they will sell their home within the next three months. That’s up from 62% in February.

Regional differences

The study identified some stark regional differences, however. The growth in confidence among vendors was most pronounced in the South East, moving from 59% to 64% of vendors expecting a sale in the next quarter.

By contrast, seller confidence in the East of England slipped from 65% in February to 60% in March, while in Wales it fell from 64% to 59% over the month.

The research found that almost half of property (45%) were sold subject to contract within 30 days of first being listed. That’s down substantially from the 64% registered in March 2022, though OnTheMarket argued it suggests there remains “confidence” in the market.

Just 6% of movers said they were concerned about securing a mortgage for a purchase, unchanged from February. Wales was the region with the highest number of respondents who already had an agreement in principle before starting their property search at 26%. Meanwhile, the South West had the lowest proportion at 17%.

Across the UK as a whole, around a quarter (27%) said they had not considered applying for a mortgage before beginning their property search. This is down from almost a third (32%) last time the study was carried out.

‘More like business as usual’

Jason Tebb, chief executive officer at OnTheMarket, noted that mortgage pricing had been “volatile” of late, though bigger lenders dropping their rates on five-year fixes below 4% should “reassure” borrowers.

He added: “On the whole, it seems to be more like business as usual for the market as we head into spring. As the sun makes a more regular appearance, more properties are coming to market looking their best, and there’s growing expectation as to what the next few months have in store.”