Garrington Property Finders: The Great British standoff...

A country road with Cotswold-style stone houses on either side in sunny weather

After nearly two years of frantic activity in the property market, there are some early signs that the mayhem has begun to abate - Credit: Steve Heap/Shutterstock

Professional buying agent Jonathan Hopper from Garrington Property Finders explains how the dynamics of the property market are starting to change and what this means for buyers and sellers alike

While the news over the past year or so has been far from rosy, the UK property market has remained surprisingly resilient to wider events. Much of this has been fuelled by the stark imbalance between buyer demand and the supply of homes for sale, clearly demonstrated by Zoopla’s recent research, which cited demand being 58 per cent higher and supply 40 per cent lower than the five-year averages. 

However, after nearly two years of frantic activity in the property market, there are some early signs that the mayhem has begun to abate. To be clear, this doesn’t mean a full shift to a buyers’ market, nor that good properties priced sensibly will not go under offer in a matter of days, but there is a distinct air of caution creeping into the market. 

So, what has changed? 

Daily reports of a cost-of-living crisis and increases to interest rates have inevitably had the effect of dampening consumer confidence, and are biting into disposable income. These factors combined are expected to translate into a levelling off across the property market, both in terms of price growth and transaction levels. Whilst there is no suggestion of a crash, the descent to a ‘soft landing’ may well have just begun.

What does this mean for the property market?

There is some evidence that many homeowners are hanging onto last year’s boom benchmark values as some properties are still being offered to the market (or indeed off-market) with an unrealistic price tag. Increasingly though, buyers are looking to factor in the risk of an uncertain economic future. This means that until the most recent transaction data starts to work through into house price indices in three to four months’ time, an increasing level of differing opinions between sellers and buyers about what now constitutes ‘fair market value’ seems inevitable on some property negotiations. 

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Speaking to selling agents, the consensus is that whilst new properties being launched onto the market are still obtaining a great deal of attention, some buyers are trimming back their top-end budgets and looking more closely at the potential running costs.

Buying in a changing market

Success in the property market largely hinges on buyers and sellers being able to meet each other halfway in a transaction that is often laden with emotion, innate bias and a fear of getting it wrong.  

In a changing market, these sentiments are harder to manage, underlining the need for independent and objective advice. A local buying agent is best placed to help you make sense of the market, with advice tailored to your personal plans, the property types being considered and specific locations.  

Garrington’s property consultants help purchasers source and acquire properties that meet their lifestyle requirements. Its local expertise and in-depth knowledge of the property market assist homebuyers to make well-informed property purchasing decisions.