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Properties sell faster as buyers race to secure mortgage offers

Written by: Shekina Tuahene
More properties were sold subject to contract in October as people rushed to keep hold of relatively favourable mortgage rates.

OnTheMarket’s property sentiment index found that 60% of properties were sold within 30 days of being advertised, compared to 56% last year. This was also up on the previous month’s proportion of 53% of properties selling within that time. 

OnTheMarket said this speed of sales had not been seen since June. 

Homes in Scotland (subject to contract) sold fastest in October with 67% being snapped up within 30 days of being listed. London was slowest with just 39% of properties selling within this timeframe. 

Almost a third (31%) of buyers already had an agreement in principle in place before looking for a property, higher than 28% in the previous month.  

The activity in the market seems to have restored sellers’ faith as well, as 82% said they were confident they would sell their home within the next three months. This was up from 79% in September. 

Focusing buyers’ minds 

Jason Tebb, chief executive of OnTheMarket, said: “October may have been packed with political and economic uncertainty but remarkably, focused buyers continued to go about their business of purchasing property.  

“How long properties take to sell is one of the key indicators of the health of the housing market, and encouragingly, our data shows that this metric strengthened in October, despite rising mortgage rates and living costs.”  

Tebb added: “This increase in the volume of new properties going under offer within the first month of marketing may suggest an urgency among buyers with mortgage agreements secured some time ago, who may be keen to proceed before those offers expire.

“This is understandable as many of these rates will be significantly lower than current mortgage rates, which shot up following swap rate volatility after the mini Budget.  

“This could be helping focus buyers’ minds and encourage them to put pressure on their conveyancers to get deals done before the expiry date. These buyers are unlikely to want to go back into the market at a higher rate unless they absolutely have to, as it could potentially end up costing them hundreds or even thousands of pounds extra a year.” 

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