Notably, there was a significant surge in people opting to live in the private rented sector, with seasonal fluctuations returning, and the market transitioning back to a buyer's market, resembling the pre-pandemic status quo.
Average Viewings Declined by 71%: In the sales market, the average number of viewings per property witnessed a substantial drop throughout the year, from April to December, falling by 71%. Estate agents described this shift as moving from "cappuccino market days" to "espresso times," indicating that serious buyers were actively seeking properties while others adopted a wait-and-see approach due to economic uncertainties.
Steady Stream of New Instructions: Member branches experienced a fairly consistent flow of new property instructions throughout the year, with traditional dips in December, showing no change year-on-year from 2021 to 2022. However, the total number of properties for sale steadily increased over the course of the year, primarily driven by a divergence between new property instructions and the number of homes sold, especially in the latter half of 2022. There was a slight decline in the total number of properties available for sale in December 2022.
Demand for rental properties skyrocketed, with Propertymark's data indicating peak numbers of prospective tenants registering. A new monthly record was set in September, with 147 new prospective tenants per member branch. The demand for rental properties grew by a remarkable 57% since 2018, when Propertymark began recording this data. Interestingly, the private rented sector did not experience a corresponding increase in size to accommodate the growing number of tenants.
Unreasonable Price Expectations: A significant 71% of agents expressed concern over sellers holding unrealistic price expectations in 2023.
Increasing Conveyancing Times: Nearly half (48%) of the agents were worried about the rising conveyancing times, which could potentially lead to delays in property transactions.
Impact of Sales Falling Through: Approximately 41% of agents were concerned about the repercussions of sales falling through on their vendors.