Potential borrowers were very confident about securing a mortgage during April, although this sentiment is weakening slightly, according to the latest data from OnTheMarket’s property sentiment index.
Data showed that on average 4% of movers in the UK were concerned in April about securing a mortgage to fund the purchase of their next property, a slight increase on the 3% in March.
On average during April 23% of movers in the UK hadn’t considered applying for a mortgage before starting their property search, with Greater London being the least likely.
Meanwhile, Greater London and the North West had the highest number of respondents who already had their mortgage agreement in principle in place prior to starting their search for a property at 44%, while the South West had the lowest at 31%.
The index also found that during April 82% of sellers were confident that they could complete a sale within three months.
On a regional basis, 82% of sellers in the East Midlands during April were confident they would sell their home within the next three months, compared with 75% the previous month.
Confidence also increased to 83% in the East of England, up from 81% in March.
Meanwhile, London saw a slight drop-off, with the percentage of sellers confident they would sell their property in the next three months falling by 4% from the previous month to 82% in April.
Strong demand from buyers continued, with 63% of properties in the UK being sold subject to contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being advertised for sale.
On a regional basis, 50% of properties were SSTC within 30 days of first being listed in London, compared with 79% of newly listed properties in Scotland.
OnTheMarket chief executive officer Jason Tebb says: ”While the high levels of buyer and seller confidence in April are consistent with the previous two months, there’s also strong evidence emerging of a more stable housing market.”
“The frenzy of the past two years has settled into a more manageable, steady environment, a ‘new normal’ or elevated version of the pre-pandemic market. There are several headwinds, including the rising cost-of-living and the potential for further interest rate rises from the Bank of England; however, these factors have yet to impact sentiment.”
“The number of properties newly listed for sale is slowly increasing and supply/demand economics suggest that if this continues, price growth will moderate. If there’s more choice of properties for sale and buyer numbers remain consistent, or even start to drop off, there could be a levelling off in activity and prices. However, the fundamental lack of stock at the present moment means that values will hold at a certain level.”
“While there may be further challenges to come, for now, our data shows strong confidence from both buyers and sellers, which is continuing to fuel the UK housing market. There are many reasons why people need to move and there are plenty looking to do so. This is particularly true in the regions outside the major conurbations as they look their best right now with spring leaves on the trees – one of the reasons why spring/summertime is a natural time to sell.”
“The challenges of the past two years have ingrained a sense of positivity in the housing market which shows no signs of slowing and as such continues to thrive as serious property seekers get on with the business of moving,” Tebb adds.