housing in england

Housing market proves ‘remarkably resilient’ as sales agreed spike

The housing market defied speculation of a potential crash in the second quarter of this year as several key indicators – including sales agreed – painted a picture of “remarkable resilience”.

This is according to data published by TwentyCi in their latest Property & Homemover report, which revealed sales agreed during Q2 2023 increased by 14.5% to 305,000 acceptances.

The report also said seven in 10 properties listed in 2023 (68%) have sold, despite prices remaining well above pre-pandemic levels.

New instructions are also on the rise – 11% higher than in Q1 – resulting in 445,160 new properties coming to the market during the quarter. TwentyCi conceded a proportion of these are a result of mortgage stress, but said there is a “significant and solid core level of activity”.

Mortgage challenges are also reflected by the increased level of fall-throughs (+10.2%) and withdrawals (+0.4%). The number of exchanges has also dropped (-12.5%), but it’s said this reflects the lower level of sales agreed in Q4 2022.

The positive trends are largely reflected on a regional basis, too. Quarter on quarter, nearly all regions and cities have experienced double-digit growth in sales, with Edinburgh, Leeds, and Plymouth experiencing rises of +20%. South West England, Scotland, and the South East of England have seen the most activity. The only city to experience a dip in sales was Manchester at -1.6%.

TwentyCi did, however, say that while the stock shortage issues experienced during Covid have “eased”, issues remain. Specifically, in the £200k and under price range, buyers had 79,000 fewer properties to choose from than in 2019, highlighting an issue in the lower end of the market. Availability in the £1m+ price bracket, however, has increased by 45% since the start of the pandemic.

Colin Bradshaw, Managing Director, TwentyCi said:

“There has been no shortage of speculation declaring doom for the housing market. The economic backdrop does, of course, remain a concern and all eyes should be on whether inflation slows and so interest rates stabilise, but the signs are that the owner-occupied market is proving remarkably resilient.”

Regarding the number of people within he homemoving journey, TwentyCi said there are currently 287,351 households moving soon, 199,264 households moving now, 170,800 households that have just moved, and 173,003 households settling in.

The homemover journey also maps those that want to move, which gives an indication of the future potential of the market. this quarter there has been a jump of 15% of households wanting to move, taking the figure to 395,103 households.

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