UK property demand slides 44% after market-rocking mini-budget, study shows

Following the government’s disorganized budget, demand for residential properties in the UK nearly fell in half year over year in the four weeks leading up to Nov. 20, according to property website Zoopla.

Over time, new sales decreased by 28%.

According to a report by Zoopla, current conditions are more of a shake-out than a precursor to a housing crash. Next year, prices are largely predicted to decline.

According to research released on Monday, demand for residential properties in the UK has almost halved since the government’s September budget, which alarmed the financial markets and forced the prime minister from office.

The fiscal package, which was unveiled on September 23, sparked a sell-off in bonds and raised concerns about a potential housing market crash due to a sharp rise in interest rate expectations. Following the budget, a record number of mortgage transactions were canceled, and many lenders paused lending activities while they evaluated the volatility.

According to the real estate website Zoopla, buyer demand decreased 44% year over year in the four weeks leading up to Nov. 20 while new home sales dropped 28%. Over the same time period, the supply of available homes increased by 40%.

As buyers waited to assess the outlook for mortgages, along with their own jobs and wages, demand had decreased to levels typically seen over Christmas, one of the quietest times for the real estate markets, according to Zoopla.

Zoopla’s executive director for research, Richard Donnell, stated that the company anticipated house price declines of up to 5% in 2023.

The average number of homes on the market per estate agency is still a fifth lower than it was prior to the pandemic, he added, adding that “but the number of sales going through will remain buoyant for a range of structural, demographic and economic factors.” These factors include ongoing housing shortages.

Despite widespread predictions of a decline in housing prices, the company’s forecasts are less pessimistic than others.

In contrast to the 8% decline predicted by Pantheon Macroeconomics, one of the biggest mortgage lenders in the UK, Nationwide, warned earlier this month that the worst-case scenario for house prices could see them fall by up to 30%.

In contrast, the U.K.’s Office for Budget Responsibility has stated that it anticipates a 1.2% decline in housing prices in 2019 and a 5.7% decline in 2024.

The demand for various types of real estate during the pandemic, the suspension of the purchase tax on properties under $500,000 from July 2020 to July 2021, and ongoing supply shortages all contributed to house prices reaching record highs.

Zoopla reported that a “widespread” repricing of homes was currently taking place, though it was only of a small scale. It places the annual growth rate of U.K. home prices at 7.8%.

According to its report, market trends are more of a shake-out than a sign of an impending housing crash, and the mini-budget “delivered a shock” to both sellers and buyers.

“All of the leading indicators of supply and demand that we track continue to point to a sharp decline from extremely brisk market conditions. According to its report, “We do not see any evidence of forced sales or the need for a significant, double-digit reset in U.K. house prices in 2023.

According to separate data released last month by the website Rightmove, private rental costs in Britain have increased to record highs amid fierce competition for properties.

The highest growth of any region on record was found in London, where rents were up 16.1% year over year.