The number of visits to the house plummets compared to last year
- 1.5 viewings per available property compared to 3 viewings per property in June
- In July and August of last year there were 4.4 visits per available property
- 81% of real estate agents report that home prices are selling for less than the asking price in July
The housing market is in a deep freeze in mid-summer, and visits last month plummeted.
The average number of viewings per property has fallen 98 percent compared to August 2022, according to Propertymark, the leading membership body for real estate agents.
In July, there were an average of 1.5 viewings per available property compared to 3 viewings per property in June and 4.4 viewings per available property in both July and August of last year.
Move-in freeze: The average number of sales views per property is down 98 percent compared to August last year, according to Propertymark.
Higher mortgage rates are believed to be contributing to the slowdown in the number of people looking.
The average five-year fixed mortgage rate is 6.22 percent, according to Moneyfacts, while the average two-year fixed rate is 6.76 percent.
The lowest five-year fixed rate on the market is 5.22 percent, while the lowest two-year fixed rate is 5.77 percent, according to L&C Mortgages.
These rates are much higher compared to the summer of 2022.
Rightmove says average asking prices for new sellers fell 1.9 per cent this month to £364,895, the biggest August drop since 2018.
It’s a drop of the equivalent of £7,012, and beats the average 0.9 percent drop in the traditional August summer downturn.
Tumbleweed: The average number of visits per property continued to fall from its recent peak in April
Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, says the sales market remains buoyant despite rising mortgage rates.
He says: ‘As viewing numbers fall, this signals a shift towards only the most serious home buyers and sellers remaining proactive in the market.
‘Those properties that are currently for sale with motivated sellers in line with the market are selling quickly.’
Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and former Rics residential chairman, says that despite a larger-than-expected drop in sales prices, in many cases this has not led to an increase in agreed sales, which remain still disappointingly low.
“On the ground, we are seeing realistically priced properties still sell relatively quickly, particularly to cash and stock-rich buyers, while those that require reductions to attract more attention remain.
“Certainly continued strong employment and slightly more stable mortgage rates are helping to revive interest despite the holiday distractions.”
Propertymark’s latest report also shows that while viewings are down considerably, the number of available homes on the market is increasing.
The supply of new houses put up for sale by real estate agency branch showed a positive increase in July, now at ten per member branch.
This means that the total stock of available properties per branch increased slightly to an average of 38 in July compared to 32 in June.
More Homes Coming to the Market: The total stock of properties available per real estate agency increased slightly to an average of 38 in July compared to 32 in June.
Compared to July last year, there are 37 percent more homes on the market, according to Propertymark, and the highest level on record in the last 12 months.
Arguably, the increase in supply could cause prices to fall if buyer demand is not sustained.
The average number of new prospective buyers registered per member branch dropped to an average of 64 in July 2023, down from 86 in June 2023.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, Propertymark also said that 81 percent of real estate agents reported that home prices sold for less than their asking price in July.