The pre-Christmas crunch hits hard with biggest cuts yet


Prospective sellers across the UK face a struggle this winter as the property market slows down dramatically

According to the October 2017 RICS UK Residential Market Survey the housing market has reached a stagnant stage in sales. Demand from buyers and the number of agreed sales is on the decline and price trends have reached a flatline. It is expected that the property market will remain subdued over the coming months. 

The news comes as demand for housing reaches its lowest levels since 2012. With the winter weather finally setting in and Christmas just around the corner, both sellers and buyers are more reluctant than ever to enter the property market. It has been tradition that the market slows as we near the festive period, however, this year one property website has described the phenomenon as a “collective autumn sale” as more homeowners than ever are being forced to reduce their selling price. 

Rightmove, who claim to list 90% of the houses sold in the UK, have cited a typical 0.8% reduction from seller’s original asking price, with 37% of overall sellers having to reduce their pricing in some way. Likewise, RICS reports the demand for housing at a continual decline, with 20% more buyers reporting a fall in new buyer enquiries as well as a reduction in transactions over the month of October. These figures are set to flatline as the market continues to slow and, from a 12-month perspective, the outcome remains negative. 

It is worth noting that much of the crisis is concentrated in the South, as, regionally, Wales, Scotland and the North East have seen a pick-up in agreed sales. Negative predictions remain fixed mostly in London but now also include the South East, East Anglia, the South West, the North East and the West Midlands. 

These are issues that have risen from both ends of the property market. Moving is a costly process and with Christmas on the horizon, prospective buyers are less keen to uproot themselves and their homes. Sellers are forced to enter a market that is struggling for demand and as a result they go in too high. Prices then face reduction as the property struggles to sell and their homes are left appearing stagnant and unwanted. 

It has been suggested that a more informed approach should be implemented before sellers expose their properties to the market. Demand may not be high, but a realistic price point and careful consideration of the current market trends may just be the key to selling a property in more trying times. 

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