The latest figures for house prices across the country show a slip in value in the run up to September and December 2022 but this is not uncommon, as less people often move during the run in to Christmas and New Year with less buyer demand than say Spring/Summer on historical average. But we wanted to highlight the statistics of areas which have seen falls, and those that have seen increases, as we mark up on a year in 2022 which has actually seen RISES in property prices of 9.8% on average across England and Wales.
The monthly price change during September to December was at -0.4% with holiday destinations Dorset (-1.4%) & Devon (0.6%) highest on the list for falling prices (nobody wants holiday homes when it’s cold), with Greater London (0.5%), Surrey (0.1%) and Wiltshire (0.1%) also recording negative falls in property value.
No other area saw major drops in house sale prices, the City of London standing alone as the best rising location of all, seeing a whopping increase of 17% of agreed end values on purchases, South Yorkshire and Rutland both seeing rises of 3.1% whilst Berkshire had increased sale prices up to 3% with Derbyshire 2.6%, Northamptonshire and Manchester, both 2.5% showing healthy signs despite most locations averaging a -10% in demand change from the Autumn.
What does this tell us?
Well the sensationalists will tell you that it is ‘falling’ prices and decreased demand that is down to the September budget and a nationwide panic driven by the cost of living crisis and hiking interest rates… Whilst all this is true… Less properties for market (during the panic) has kept prices relatively stable as listings stay competitive, people will always move, people will always need somewhere to live, prices will always be reflective of ‘current’ rates.
This has meant, even during the downturn that is the run in to December, prices ‘largely’ have risen, all be it significantly lower than recent times, but there is ‘hope’ that this will continue as we come out of winter and into spring, mortgage rates dropping more favourably pending, of course.
Average house price data sourced from the Gov – UK House Price Index (Dec 2022 – latest available)
Demand data based on the number of homes listed on the major property portals marked as under offer or sold subject to contract, as a percentage of total homes listed for sale.
Best buyers markets revealed as house prices and demand start to drop (Alternative Angle!)
Market analysis by debt advisory specialists, Sirius Property Finance, has revealed which areas of the property market currently present the best opportunity for savvy homebuyers, based on below average levels of buyer demand coupled with below par house price growth as the market starts to cool.
Sirius Property Finance looked at which counties in England are currently underperforming where both house price growth and buyer demand levels are concerned when compared to the national average and, therefore, present the best markets for buyers at present when it comes to securing a steal.
The property market has been feeling the pinch since last September’s shambolic mini budget and the latest figures (Dec 22) show that since September, the average house price has increased by just 0.4%.
At the same time, buyer demand levels have also fallen by -9.2%, with 48.3% of homes currently listed for sale already sold subject to contract or under offer, versus 57.5% in September.
In fact, every county of England has seen a drop in buyer demand levels since September’s mini budget, while Dorset (-1.4%), Devon (-0.6%), London (-0.5%), Surrey (-0.1%) and Wiltshire (-0.1%) are the only counties to have seen a drop in the average house price so far. However, despite a house price drop, buyer demand levels in these counties haven’t declined as severely as other areas.
In fact, the research by Sirius Property Finance shows that there are no less than seven counties that have not only seen demand levels fall by a greater percentage than the national average, but have also seen a lower rate of house price growth since September when compared to the national benchmark.
Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Cumbria, Herefordshire, Warwickshire, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight have all seen house price growth increase by less than 0.4% since September, while buyer demand levels have reduced by more than 9.2%.
This double-barrelled drop in market performance means that these counties currently present some of the best opportunities for buyers, not only due to the fact that house prices are now levelling out, but also because the competition for said properties is starting to dwindle, putting the power in the hands of the buyer when it comes to negotiating.
Head of Corporate Partnerships at Sirius Property Finance, Kimberley Gates, commented:
“With the market starting to cool, sellers simply aren’t securing the same high price that they may have done a few months ago and this presents a great opportunity for buyers to potentially pick up a discount when negotiating.
This is largely down to a reduction in buyer activity levels and with fewer parties fighting it out for a given property, sellers don’t have the luxury of inciting a bidding war in order to boost their sold price.
In many instances, they may be struggling to attract any interest at all and this change in the landscape tips the scales very much in favour of the nation’s buyers.
Of course, it’s important to note that one pocket of the market differs from the next and while demand is down in some areas, sellers are continuing to enjoy a notable increase in the value of their homes. So when deciding on your negotiation strategy, it’s important you know what’s happening in your local market to increase your chances of success.”
To confirm (Property Secrets verdict)…
This news puts buyers in a great position… whilst prices are pretty stagnant or even lower than in the late summer, you can ‘catch a deal’ now by using the notion that ‘prices are down’ when in fact they are up, and are probably likely to go higher, or at least, not change that much this year after all…
Recent stabilisation in the government has helped re-grow the economy of late, what will follow (it’s always last to do so) is a wage increase to those many needing it, but when we are finally there, things will feel a lot better moving on, long term, our housing market will drive the rest of our economy forward, so whilst waiting for falls and heights to decide when is best to buy for you, is probably a cautious approach that you may feel most sensible? Really… It’s simply eating into your profits as you sit back and wait for the ‘right moment’, rather than commit, when buying property ‘NOW’ is as good a time as any!