Will the imbalance between supply and demand in the real estate market continue this year?

After the unprecedented market conditions of 2020 and 2021, Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director of Fine & Country UK, says calmer weather is currently expected for the property market in 2022, with hopes of a return to more “normal” market conditions.

Stevenson says: “Annual price growth and sales volumes in 2021 were at their strongest since 2006 and the market is set for a stable start through 2022. Nationwide reports that the annual growth in house prices over the past year is The year to December was 10.4% and HMRC recorded nearly 1.4 million sales between January and November.

“Mortgages and approvals were also at their highest level since 2007. Over 67,000 mortgages were approved in November, which, except for 2020, was the highest November total since 2016. Mortgage approvals from January to November were at their highest level since 2007 and over 27% above the Bank of England long-term average between 2011 and 2020. Business activity remains above The sales / inventory ratio in November was 46%, compared to an average of 34% between 2017 and 2019. Strong buyer demand is expected to be postponed until 2022. “

New Year’s resolutions are commonplace, and for many households, it can relate to their property. Homeowners’ Rightmove Report rating requests were 19% higher at the end of 2021, compared to the same period the year before. According to Stevenson, this may be an indication that the supply / demand imbalance that the market embodied in 2021 may start to ease.

She adds: “The Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates for the first time in more than three years in December to 0.25% is unlikely to cause many people to reconsider any future decision. However, the cost of living is rising due to rising inflation, and any further gradual increase in rates will impact the amount that new buyers can borrow relative to their income, especially in markets where l accessibility is the most limited. “

There is no denying that the Omicron COVID-19 variant acts as a sharp reminder that the virus continues to impact everyday life. However, the huge success of the vaccination program means that we start 2022 in a very different place than 2021.

Stevenson comments: “While some restrictions remain in place, they are a far cry from the complete lockdown we saw around this time last year. The new variant could continue to stimulate the move, but with the removal of many of the economic incentives offered to businesses, any significant impact on cost of living and employment levels could well dampen activity.

She adds that an agent’s service offering will be decisive in 2022: “Sellers entering the market in the next few months need an agent who understands and responds to their needs. According to a recent survey of movers, confidence in their abilities and good knowledge of the market continue to be the main reasons sellers choose their agents, and although for two-thirds of potential sellers a satisfactory rating is important, only 17% include the “lowest fees”. in their top five reasons.

She concludes: “While many potential buyers and sellers still appreciate a presence on the streets, the pandemic has undoubtedly sparked and accelerated new ways of marketing property digitally. Home movers place great importance on being able to view websites on their cell phones. Local housing market information and virtual tours, ideally on agent websites or portals, are also more in demand, with more than half of movers saying they would like them to stay or see more.