Housing transactions are down 21% in the year to October 2023 adjusted for the season. This is unsurprising.
Firstly, we are still coming down from a bubble caused by Covid and Stamp Duty Land Tax reductions, which created double digit house price growth for much of the last three years.
Secondly, the higher base rate is designed to cool demand and therefore pricing in the economy, and it is working to plan.
Across the real estate market, sentiment is subdued. However, for the investors we are working with, it’s a time of opportunity since rental demand has never been stronger, and currently it is a good time for investors to negotiate on purchase price.
The 16% annual reduction in transactions is a direct result of increased interest rates, which have stretched housing affordability.
Many (c. £2m) people who already own a property are facing double or triple their previous housing costs. Potential buyers reliant on bank finance are no longer willing or able to pay prices accepted in 2022. Nowhere is this more evident than amongst new build homes, where affordability is trumping attractiveness. New Build transactions are now significantly below 2008 levels, to c. 1k per month..
A re-pricing for properties that are being sold due to necessity. This is because only cash purchasers are not directly affected by higher interest rates, and these purchasers have strong negotiating power. Investors we work with continue to buy, albeit cautiously, and they are typically purchasing at 10-30% below peak 2022 market values.
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