Save, make, understand money

First-time Buyer

Property buyers bag a deal as three quarters of homes sell below asking price

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The number of prospective buyers registering with estate agents rose from 70 in January to 94 in February as people appeared unphased by rising mortgage costs.

The Propertymark Housing Report for February showed that demand had been steadily increasing from December and was a normal seasonal trend. 

This return in buyer interest came with 75% of homes selling for less than their asking price. While this was little unchanged compared to January, when compared to February last year it was a 55% uptick. 

The average number of viewings per available property was steady on January at three people. This was higher than December’s average of 1.8 viewings per property which was also a low.  

Meanwhile, the number of new homes coming to market to averaged at 10, which was slightly higher than the average of nine in January. It was also similar to the number of new homes available per member branch for most of 2022. 

The total property stock stood at 32 per branch, which Propertymark said had been slowly rising since the start of the year and was up from 30 per branch the month before. 

There were eight sales agreed per estate agency branch in February, which was flat on the same month the year before and up from an average of six in January. 

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, said: “There has been a lot of doomy whispers about the housing market since last autumn, but the activity being seen by Propertymark agents paints a robust picture. Transaction levels year-on-year have been stable and listings of new properties coming to the market have also been steady. Any indicators of something negative on the horizon would see these figures dropping below previous years.  

“Prices have been affected by rising interest rates, but sellers are still keen to keep moving, and whilst interest rates are expected to rise again, they are not expected to climb excessively higher before reaching a level footing.” 

The lettings market 

Across the rental sector, there were 91 prospective tenants registering with each estate agent branch in February which was close to the average of 94 tenants seen in spring 2022. It was down on January’s figure of 108, however. 

The number of rental homes available averaged at nine per estate agent branch, a small decrease on the average of 10 the month before. During the month, 10 prospective tenants registered for each available property. 

Meanwhile, half of Propertymark’s respondents reported that rents had risen on a monthly basis. 

Emerson added: “The lettings market remains very much out of balance, with an average of 10 registered applicants per property. As demand continues to outweigh supply, pressure on rents has eased slightly since the peaks of last summer but it has by no means gone away.”