Christmas comes early.

Data published this morning by Hometrack, the data company owned by Zoopla makes grim reading. The analysts forecast a cold winter with almost every one of their dials flashing red. “It’s almost as if the housing market has moved into Christmas mode eight weeks early,” Hometracks’ boss Richard Donnell told the Financial Times.

  • “Buyer demand” down more than 40% compared to last year and 44% since the day of the “mini” Budget. (Hometrack measures ‘demand’ as enquiries to agents for specific properties advertised on their website).
  • Inventory up compared to the summer but still 19% below 2017-19 average.
  • 25% of homes for sale since September have had an asking price haircut. “Price reductions have been greatest in southern England, where sales activity has fallen back the most.”
  • Number of sales agreed down 28% compared to same period last year “New sales fell by half in the hottest markets, less in affordable areas”.

More homes selling for less than asking price.

Achieved vs. Asking prices: “The average discount to achieve a sale has widened to 3% in recent weeks. Historic data shows that discounts to asking prices in the region c.5-7% are consistent with annual price falls.”

Hometrack says “The prospects for 2023 really depend on how willing sellers are to adjust asking prices in line with what buyers are prepared to pay.”.