Appetite among buyers has abruptly fallen across all regions this year, data from property purchasing specialist, House Buyer Bureau has revealed.
The firm measured transactions as a percentage of for-sale stock in the three months to October 2023, compared to the corresponding period the year before – to give an indication of how demand has shifted.
Across England and Wales proportional sales fell by -5.6%, with the largest drop in demand taking place in the East Midlands, and the most minor reduction happening in the North East.
There were 41,507 sales per month in the three months to October 2023, down from 43,130 the year before.
The biggest falls
The East Midlands saw demand drop by -7.4%, followed by the East of England and the South West, at -7.0% and -6.7% respectively.
In the East Midlands sales per month dipped by around 300 year-on-year, while in the East of England and South West they fell by around 600 and 200 respectively – demonstrating how it’s been a quieter 2023 for the housing market.
North East the least affected
The market in the North East seems the least affected by the general slowdown, where sales as a percentage of stock only fell by -2.0%, while the transaction count increased by nearly 400.
London only saw a minimal reduction of -3.0%, with transactions falling by around 300 annually.
Managing Director of House Buyer Bureau, Chris Hodgkinson, said, “The housing market slowed in 2023, as struggles with affordability and rising mortgage rates put a break on demand.
“The positive is aspiring buyers have a chance to find a good deal in the current climate – potentially shaving some cash off the asking price now properties are no longer flying off the shelves.
“While there’s been a general slowdown in housing activity, the North East seems to be the most shielded from the economic slowdown, where demand seems almost as strong as ever.
What’s more, we’ve already seen initial signs that the market is starting to find its feet and with the Bank of England continuing to hold interest rates, buyers are able to plan their future purchases with a greater degree of confidence. This puts the market in good stead for 2024 and we expect market activity to increase after what has been a difficult year.”