Housing supply

Housing supply at its highest in a year

The latest OnTheMarket Property Sentiment Index, which reflects property market activity in July, has been released. It shows that the housing stock is at the highest level in a year due to seasonal returns in the housing market.

It also reveals that there are no clear signs of political and economic uncertainty disrupting buyers or sellers.

Some 75% of active buyers in the UK were confident they would buy a property within the next three months, while 80% of sellers in the UK were confident they would sell their property within the same timeframe.

The report also reveals that 57% of properties were sold subject to contract (SSTC) within 30 days of their first announcement of sale, compared to 56% in July 2021.

OnTheMarket said it was starting to see evidence of a return to a seasonal housing market with a calmer summer after a busy spring, and the expectation of activity picking up in the fall once children will return to school and buyers will try to finish before Christmas.

This is another indication of a more normalized market; a far cry from the frenzy that began in the early stages of the Covid pandemic where it was frantically busy all year round as buyers competed for limited stock. In July, the “new normal”, a version of the pre-pandemic market high, continued to weigh on the UK property market.

OTM pointed out that inventory levels have increased since February, with a steady week-on-week increase in the volume of properties available.

Inventory levels reached the highest level of available inventory in July compared to any time in the previous 12 months.

With seasonal effects kicking in this summer, there could be fewer active shoppers as people are more inclined to take vacations than has been the case for the past two years. With buyers potentially spending time away from their research in the housing market, this could result in continued improvement in inventory levels.

Despite the rising cost of living, our data shows that sentiment remained largely unchanged in July. Serious buyers remained determined to buy a property, while sellers’ confidence remained high.

Buy because there is now more inventory available on the market for buyers to choose from, some sellers may be less confident that their homes will sell as quickly as they might have before.

Nonetheless, with the slight rise in the percentage of properties on offer, there is even more evidence of the wave of positivity and optimism that continues to support the market.

OTM CEO Jason Tebb said: “With sellers remaining confident despite the summer holidays and political upheaval, and buyers keen to secure mortgage rates before they get out of reach, all signs point to a buoyant housing market, albeit with the return of seasonal norms.