Horton and Garton Estate Agents
As we come to the end of the year, here in Horton and Garton’s latest West London Property News Winter 2022 we take a closer look at the past few months and share our outlook for 2023.
A rollercoaster year
For the most part of 2022, the West London property market has soared with record levels of activity, however many had their moving plans put on hold in the Autumn by the rapid interest rate rise and level of uncertainty in the markets.
The final three months of the year have seen considerably more muted activity than the 9 months prior yet generally buyer demand and leads are currently tracking 2019; signs of a more ‘normal’ and sustainable market. In fact, Rightmove reported 4% higher buyer demand in November 2022 compared to November 2019.
As a result of uncertainty in the market property prices are shifting and for many homes in West London, this has meant listing price reductions of around 5-10%.
Despite the reduced numbers of buyers in the market, viewings are happening, and offers are being made, albeit less frequently, buyers are also increasingly seeking to secure a discounted price.
It’s unsurprising that buyers are seeking a reduction in property prices to offset higher borrowing costs. This said, the outlook for the mortgage market looks more positive given despite the Bank of England increasing the base rate again in December, mortgage rates have in fact been falling in the final weeks of the year.
The ship has steadied paving the way for a positive start to 2023. There is likely to be some level of hesitation in decision making as home movers are more considered in their approach but a slower paced, more stable market is an appealing prospect to those who need to move.John Horton, Owner and Director
Conversations throughout December are indicative of a strong return to the market in the New Year as after a tumultuous period buyers and sellers are taking a needed break before returning to the market in 2023.Louise Jones, Sales Manager
Outlook for 2023
According to Zoopla purchaser demand is 44% lower than this time last year, and the number of properties for sale has increased by 40%. With a cooling market and fewer competing buyers, serious buyers are wise not to sit on the fence for too much longer or they’ll likely miss out. Similarly, sellers who make moves early in the new year might well find themselves ahead of the curve by taking action before others dilute the marketplace.
With indication that interest rates are likely to fall further and buyers perceiving that softening prices makes it a better time to secure a new home, the outlook for the West London property market is one of gradual building momentum in the new year as buyers and sellers alike align their plans to the current climate.
A busy December market
Horton and Garton’s lettings department is experiencing one of the busiest Decembers in memory. There are several factors fuelling this spike in activity; certain sellers who have been unable to achieve a sale at the ideal value have chosen to instead list their home for let meaning the lettings market is seeing new stock because of these new ‘accidental’ or ‘temporary’ landlords.
And whilst the number of prospective tenants has been high all year, this momentum is being carried forward into a traditionally quiet period due to many buyers opting to place their plans to buy on hold. In fact, according to Rightmove, the number of people enquiring about homes to rent is up 23% on this time last year.
There is little sign of the lettings market slowing down in 2023, as demand for homes continues to outweigh the supply, especially with a wave of would be buyers who are putting their plans on hold.Aggie Tukendorf, Lettings Manager
A closer look at the data
It’s recently been reported that landlords accounted for 12.2% of all UK house purchases in 2022, which is the highest level in six years, since before tax changes in 2016. However, in real terms, due to the total number of transactions having reduced the number of investor purchases is in fact down by around 30,000 compared to last year.
This deficit in properties to let continues to place a burden on the local rental market in West London and has played a large part in the rising rental values seen across the capital and country. Whilst there has been an injection of new listings towards the end of this year there continues to be an imbalance. In any given week the Horton and Garton lettings team can currently receive over 300 enquiries and multiple offers are often received on available properties.
We hope the West London Property News Winter 2022 report has proven useful to our readers. If you would like to discuss any property matters with us, please do get in touch, without obligation.