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Potential sellers stay away

Despite having better chance to sell

The price of property coming to market at this time of year usually experiences an autumn bounce, with an average rise of 1.6% in the month of October over the last ten years. This year sees a more sluggish monthly rise of just 0.6% (+£1,942), the lowest at this time of year since October 2008. With a slowdown in the number of properties coming to market, down by 13.5% compared with this time last year, there are strong indications that many would-be sellers are being deterred by the combination of muted pricing power and short-term political uncertainty. In contrast, buyers seem undeterred, with the year-on-year number of sales agreed being little changed, down by just 0.5%.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst commented this week: “In a strange Brexit-induced paradox, thousands of potential sellers are holding back compared to this time a year ago, though the number of buyers agreeing purchases is virtually the same. Ironically, this means that those who are coming to market have a better chance of selling, so while some would-be sellers are being put off, it’s actually a good time to sell. Those who are ignoring the Brexit disruption have less competition from stay-away sellers, and their prospective buyers have less negotiating power, with a reduced choice of suitable alternatives.”

Another positive for those who have come to market and are serious about selling, is that buyer activity is holding steady. The number of sales agreed is virtually unchanged on the same period a year ago at just 0.5% down. Furthermore, those who are selling are finding that their sales are more likely to proceed successfully to completion.

Shipside concluded: “Rightmove data shows that the percentage of sales agreed that have fallen through so far this year is the lowest since 2015. Sellers who are coming to market are fewer but more serious, and buyers seem to be serious too, with the number of sales agreed almost unchanged. Both parties are then working harder to successfully guide their precious “subject to contract” sale through to successful completion. Many people feel that finding their ideal property is a strong foundation for finding their happy at home, so it’s worth fighting for that comforting certainty in these uncertain times.”

This precis of the latest seasonal report from Rightmove is a mirror image of activity in Wilsons office this autumn. We’re finding that those buyers who are putting Brexit uncertainty to one side have a far better chance of selling quickly than they have had for a number of years, for a good price and, in the absence of competition, their sales are more likely to proceed successfully to completion.

By Chris Willey
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