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Homemover Pulse: UK Property Market September 2022

Welcome to our September 2022 Homemover Pulse where we take the pulse of the present UK property market and give a snapshot of current homemover activity.

With the UK’s largest and most sophisticated homemover database, we have unique access to data on house prices and residential property at every stage in the purchase journey. Here’s the latest update on the UK’s housing market. 

UK House Prices

The latest Halifax house price index reports that the average price for a home in the UK has increased again. The average property price has reached a record £294,260.  

You can read the full report here

This is the seventh month out of eight this year that average house prices increased. However, annual house price inflation isn’t increasing as rapidly as it was earlier in the year. Average UK house prices are beginning to level off and indicate the beginning of a market slowdown. 

House price growth is a strong indicator of demand, demonstrating that the housing market remains buoyant. But as UK average house prices continue to grow, energy bills increase and inflated prices persist, it becomes ever more difficult for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.  

The current state of the owner-occupied housing market: September 2022

Currently, there are 242,164 residential properties available for sale and 327,622 properties with sales agreed across the country. There have also been 303,852 completions in the last three months. In the chart below, we have broken down these key stages of the home buying journey - new instructions, sale agreed and completions - by region of the UK.

Graph showing completions, new instructions & sale agreed over the last three months

In September, we’ve seen a further increase in new instructions in comparison with August. Sales agreed have reduced somewhat, whilst completions have increased. 

With increased interest rates, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see a reduction in sales agreed. Mortgage repayment rates are ever-increasing and this makes property less affordable for many. The rising borrowing costs may be a deterrent, coupled with rising energy costs that are leaving UK households with less available income.  

Read more about the UK’s rising interest rates here

Current new instructions

Our new instructions data covers all residential properties in the UK that are currently available for sale. There are currently 242,164 properties listed for sale across the UK.

Heat map showing number of current properties with sales agreed by region

With continued increases in new instructions, housing stock is being replenished at a faster rate. This is beginning to bring back some balance in the UK housing market. Strong annual house price growth makes an attractive market for sellers looking to request higher prices for their property. 

Every region experienced a significant boost in new instructions compared with last month,  except inner London. The greatest increase came in Northern Ireland, with a +17.53% increment. 

Current properties with sales agreed

Our sales agreed data covers all properties in the UK which are currently at the start of the conveyancing journey and are sold subject to contract. Sale agreed figures can be seen as an indicator of present demand, showing where people are currently in the process of moving to. Currently, there are 327,622 properties across the UK with sales agreed.

Heat map of UK showing sales agreed properties by region

As buyer demand eases, we’re seeing SSTC numbers begin to wane. This is the third month in a row that sales agreed have remained steady or shown a downturn. 

With rising mortgage rates, mortgage approvals on a downward trend and increased living costs on much of the UK population’s minds, house purchases might be a bridge too far for many. We’re still a long way off a housing market crash, but things are showing signs of cooling somewhat. 

Scotland was the only region to demonstrate an increase in demand compared with last month, standing at +2%. Inner London experienced the biggest decline in demand at -6.89%.  

Despite a significant decrease in comparison with August’s figures, the South East continues to be the most popular region with 54,547 sales agreed. Whilst activity is always high in the UK’s largest region, it’s interesting to note that the gap between sales agreed and completions has closed to a degree this month. 

Completions in the last three months

Our completions data covers all residential properties in the UK which have undergone contract completion in the last three months. This data set, therefore, covers all homes which have been newly purchased and moved into. In the three months to September, there have been 303,852 contract completions across the UK.

Heat map of UK showing completions by region for the last three months

It’s interesting to see a +4.34% increase in completions compared with August’s figures. Our data shows that transaction times are decreasing, which may be playing a part in the increased completion numbers. As average house prices continue to increase, buyers may also be eager to keep their transactions progressing as fast as possible to avoid costly fall-throughs and higher prices should they need to find an alternative property. 

Completion numbers were notably higher in both Inner London (+10.45%) and Outer London (+14%) in comparison to last month. Every other region experienced an increase, other than the West Midlands (-0.22%) and Northern Ireland (-7.27%). 

With a national Bank Holiday announced for the day of the Queen’s state funeral, completions scheduled for 19th September will have to be moved. We await the impact of this with curiosity. 

With squeezed household budgets, the introduction of the energy price cap and another uncertain time for the UK economy, there are certainly a lot of factors at play in the UK housing market at present. 

The homemover audience represents a large opportunity for many businesses, from the retail sector to utilities and insurance. Homemovers spend an average of £42,000 on goods and services related to their move in the months before and after moving house. As property and homemover data experts, TwentyCi can help you tap into this large, high-value audience. Get in touch to find out more.