Vendor withdrawals continue to climb as the market adapts to rising interest rates

Supply and demand are both being reshaped in the face of rising mortgage payments. Frothy prices, a result of the pandemic boom, are being trimmed and many more vendors are withdrawing their properties from the market, especially the more costly ones, according to the latest market analysis from

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Property Reporter
16th December 2022
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New instructions are also being priced more conservatively and this, combined with the surge in withdrawals and price cutting, has hit hard.

The national average asking price has dropped 2.4% in a single month according to Home's data, which is a greater fall than in any month following the 2008 financial crisis.

The supply of new instructions remains within the normal range, thus indicating that there is not a panic-driven flood of sellers. The stock total of unsold property has been recovering over recent months from the all-time low set in February but remains a long way off the 10-year average.

Moreover, increasing numbers of vendor withdrawals have meant a more muted rise since last month. The fact that many sellers can simply choose not to sell at the present time suggests that there is considerable financial resilience among owners.

Despite much talk of a slowdown, both the median and mean time on the market for unsold property in England and Wales are actually less than they were a year ago. There is some slowing, of course, but most of it can be ascribed to seasonal factors. After a period of wait-and-see, demand is expected to ramp back up once the dust has settled, bearing in mind the recently announced nil-rate stamp duty for properties under £250K.

The rental market continues to show very high demand, as indicated by very short marketing times for properties available to let.

Scotland has the quickest market, with the typical time on the market a mere 13 days. There are currently less than half the number of properties available to let north of the border than there were in pre-pandemic December 2019.

Meanwhile, London is the slowest at 19 days which, of course, is still a very quick turnaround time for re-lets. The capital region has around 40% fewer properties available to let this month than it did in December 2019.

These low stock levels are driving rents up and setting new records in each region just about every month. Overall, asking rents have risen by 20% during the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates may well nudge up again next week following yesterday's MPC decision on the BoE base rate. Of course, this will also increase the risk of a long and deep recession and prolong the current correction in the housing market.

The annualised mix-adjusted average asking price growth across England and Wales is now at 1.5%; in December 2021, the annualised rate of increase of home prices was 7.2%. This radical change shows the extraordinary change in market sentiment during 2022.

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