Housing market analysis: ‘What’s happening to supply and demand?’

Kate Faulkner examines the latest data from the leading indices for insight into supply and demand in the UK property market.

house hunter looking in Estate agent windowBefore property prices tend to move up or down, we first start seeing rises and falls in the number of buyers and sellers which then leads into changes in transactions sold ‘subject to contract’ and completions.

This month, the indices are showing:

1. The number of properties coming to market is on the up eg Rightmove suggests listings are up by 12% year on year.
2. Sales agreed on the rise – with Rightmove up by 13% and Zoopla’s chart below showing a similar rise of 12%.
3. The number of sales being agreed is now level with 2019 despite buyer conditions being much more challenging (Rightmove).

However, there are some markets which are doing better than others. Those at the ‘top of the ladder’ are driving the growth with more stock coming onto the market – an 18% rise for four/five bed homes, while sales agreed are up by 20% (Rightmove) – perhaps meaning the wealthier in the market are taking advantage of good value properties for sale at the moment.

And the good news is, that forecasts of sales this year by Zoopla are 1.1million – and, over the last few years they have been pretty accurate.

Zoopla transaction table


For those with buyers in the mortgage market, according to Zoopla, things are also on the rise:
“The recovery in sales is starting to be reflected in other data such as mortgage approvals for home purchase which were 32% higher in February 2024, returning towards pre-pandemic levels. The 4 to 6+ month time lag between agreeing a sale ‘subject to contract’ and moving in means sales completion data is yet to register an upturn but this will emerge in the coming months.”

Zoopla mortgage graph

What are the current hottest and coldest postcodes?

As we know, data at a national, regional and even city level doesn’t always show the true picture as to whether a market is performing well or not and this is shown by the data below from The Advisory.

As you can see the postcodes for hot and cold markets are from around the country. For example, in S5 (Sheffield) and M21 (Manchester), 73% of the properties on the market are under offer, in contrast, W1 (London) and L2 (Liverpool) being the worst performers according to this index, with only 10% of properties on the market under offer.

Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol and Stockport are reported as having some of the busiest markets, while London, Liverpool and Yarmouth have some of the slower ones.

To find out what the Propcast market is reporting about your local postcode visit: House Selling Weather Forecast here.

Top ten postcodes table

Source: TheAdvisory

Cost of living pressures and higher rates hold back would-be first-time buyers
Nationwide have run some really interesting data this month with Censuswide which is holding back potential first-time buyers, suggesting that “Nearly half (49%) of prospective first-time buyers (those looking to buy in the next five years) have delayed their plans over the past year.”

The key reasons for these delays are featured in the chart below with most suggesting they feel prices are too high, along with mortgage costs:

Delaying purchase chart

The reason for much of this is being blamed on the cost of living crisis affecting their ability to save for a deposit.

Perhaps some good news for those living in areas where prices are a little bit cheaper, perhaps versus a city, “55% of respondents said they would be willing to buy in another part of the country where house prices are cheaper… with half said they would move more than 30 miles from their current location”.

First home chart

Source: Nationwide

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