PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: DLUHC | Propertymark | Interest Rates

Andrew Stanton’s daily Property News Briefing in association with Estate Agent Networking.

Propertymark September housing report suggests house prices stabilising

In its latest report, Propertymark has stated that the mood has cooled and properties are currently not selling above the asking price at the volume they were earlier in the year, indicative of a cooling phase in the market. 

The report states, “In September, the majority of homes agreed sales at the original asking price (47 per cent). This is a shift away from properties predominantly selling for over the asking price in August. In August 37 per cent of homes sold for over the asking price. Conversely, in September, just 27 per cent of properties sold for more than asking price. Before March 2021 it had been the norm for the majority of properties to agree sales at under asking price.”

Propertymark CEO, Nathan Emerson said: “Figures from September tell an interesting story of a market that may be beginning to shift. Sales being agreed has increased, but the number of sales achieving over the asking price has reduced, meaning we may start to see an end to the bidding wars that have been so prevalent. It’s also interesting to note that although the number of properties available to buy is lower than we have seen before in September, it hasn’t dropped since August meaning that just enough properties are coming to market to satisfy demand.”

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Autumn rental reform white paper delayed 

It was supposed to be out now, but Mr Gove’s Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities wants more time before it unveils the document.

Stating for a “balanced package of reforms” they needed more time to consider all the factors. In fairness to the new Housing Secretary, he probably wants to have input, and as the report is likely to enrage either the tenants or landlord interest groups, maybe this side of Christmas something will be forthcoming.

It can only be hoped that a considered report that weighs up the actions and consequences of changing any policy in the letting vertical is much better than, for example, the SDLT holiday, which superheated the property market, but leaves questions as to what happens now the initiative has been removed.  

Will interest rates rise on 4th November?

The nine wise heads at the Bank of England meet this Thursday to discuss either holding the base rate as is, or increasing it to stave off inflation. Recent commentary from the panel that includes Andrew Bailey, the Governor, is that three will oppose any uptick, three are sitting on the fence, and three are looking for an increase.

The fallout from any increase will be felt immediately in the property sector if it comes, as lending will immediately become more expensive. It may be marginal, but this industry is hypersensitive to market sentiment. If the cost of moving changes, many may well tighten their belts and hunker down, especially with utilities and perhaps food and other costs on the rise. 

If interest rates do not rise now, many in the city feel it may only be a matter of time, an indicator will be if lenders start to retract their extremely enticing headline lending rates, soon be bonfire night and we will all know.

Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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