Following the pandemic, we saw a surge of buyers and the property market experienced a boom. It was a seller’s market, with buyers outnumbering the houses becoming available causing a price upturn and speedy sales. UK-wide, house prices rose 6.3% in 2021 and 5.6% in 2022, making the average home worth around £360k. In Cardiff, the average home sold for £291,255 with prices up 5% from 2021.
Now, with recent increases in interest rates and mortgages, we are seeing things calm down and are expecting a very slight fall in house prices this year – although Rightmove actually reported a 0.9% increase in asking prices in January.
Looking further ahead though, Rightmove is predicting a drop of around 2%, which is still higher than they were a year ago and is by no means a bad thing. The past two years have been frantic and fast-paced, and this year will be a welcome relief for buyers who can take a bit more time to consider the properties on offer.
Sellers will need to readjust to more ‘normal’ housing market conditions, which means factoring in more time to complete the sale and possibly accepting a more market reflective price. It’s predicted it will take around four to six months for a property sale to go through, which was ‘the norm’ pre-2020.
Sellers shouldn’t be put off, as demand is very much alive. Rightmove reported an 11% increase in views of homes for sale on its app in December 2022 compared to the same month in 2021 and also reported a 4% increase in prospective buyer enquiries compared to the same period in 2019. Despite the Bank of England’s interest rate hike on 2 February, experts are predicting mortgage rates will come down which should encourage more buyers to emerge.
The run up to spring is the peak time that people start looking for new homes, so would-be sellers are encouraged to act now to appoint an agent who can correctly value and price their home according to national and hyper local trends and get the property seen by the right people.
With more properties for sale, more people looking to buy and prices levelling off, 2023 looks set to be an even playing field for both buyers and sellers. Everyone’s a winner!