THE WEATHER IS HEATING UP – AND SO IS THE MARKET
Published 24 June 2022
Feeling the heat of the summer sun on our skin inevitably makes us feel better about life, and automatically puts us into a holiday mood. I am already looking forward to a week on the Suffolk coast with my extended family to recharge my batteries.
In years gone by, the residential property market would similarly ‘take a break’ over the summer months, with a noticeable lull in activity with both buyers and sellers waiting until September for the ‘new term’ of transactions.
There is certainly no sign of that happening this year; the latest figures from Rightmove show that there are currently 150,000 more homes currently sold subject to contract than at this stage in 2019 (i.e. pre-Covid), which is an increase of some 44%.
A couple of interest rate rises don’t seem to have dampened the market. Partly this is because even with the increases, rates are still at a historically very low level. Also, the currently available extremely attractive fixed rate deals (as low as 2.73% for a ten year fix) are unlikely to be around for long, and this is spurring many people to make the move now.
Some others are resisting coming to market out of fear that once they have sold, they won’t be able to find the home they want to buy. In a market where demand outstrips supply by a huge margin, that is an understandable concern – and one which is intensified if you only take your view of what is available from the property portals. But in reality, much of the activity being done in the market is happening out of the public view.
When you put your house on the market, and especially once it is under offer, your agent is going to work very hard to make the sale actually happen (they don’t get paid otherwise). In reality, what that means is that most agents will be working hard behind the scenes to find suitable homes for those in this position. You will have become their number one priority.
Agents are of course in the best position to know which homes are coming onto the market. Many of these are being sold in deals without even being advertised, often to people who have already got an offer, but who can’t move until they find the right property to buy.
You know those flyers which you get through your door from estate agents saying ‘we have a buyer for a home just like yours’? Once upon a time these may have been somewhat speculative, but in the current market, agents are not messing around – they are working hard to put together deals.
This hard work by agents should reassure those who are reluctant to come to market because they are worried about finding the right next home. In reality this is happening, just more under the radar than previously.
This is the reason that Rightmove figures show that 7% more properties are coming to market than this time last year, and why there is unlikely to be a summer ‘lull’ in 2022. Those who wait until the autumn could end up missing out.
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