Fall in buyer demand as supply of homes for sale increases

Fall in buyer demand as supply of homes for sale increases
Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Momentum in the housing market stalled in February, with fewer buyers registered than a year earlier, said Propertymark.

There was a 3% fall in the number of potential buyers registered in February. This followed a sharp rise in January.

Viewing numbers also plateaued, although they are broadly in line with the same period in 2023, said the trade association.

Supply rose sharply, with an 18% rise in new homes coming onto the market for sale.

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, said: “In the residential sales sector, demand has temporarily slowed following the January post-Christmas bounce.

“On the supply side, our members are busy with new instructions, which is increasing stock levels. This imbalance may lead to further price corrections, but only in the short term.”

Tenant demand falls

The number of new prospective tenants registered with each letting agent branch fell from 97 in January 2024 to 89 in February 2024, said Propertymark.

Stock levels continue to fluctuate, with a huge 26% fall in available homes to rent. There was also a 16% drop in new tenancy agreements signed in February compared to January.

Emerson added: “In the residential lettings sector, tenant demand has marginally decreased. However, stock levels have also decreased and, overall, demand continues to outpace supply; in fact, there were around 10 new applicants registered in February for each available property.

“Rents continue to fluctuate by location and property type, although there are some signs of stabilisation.

“As we progress into March and beyond, the re-establishment of seasonal trends should result in positive progress in both the sales and lettings sectors.”

Related: UK house prices fell £2,900 in March