68% of homes find buyers over past 12 months

New data revealed today from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove shows that the likelihood of sellers successfully securing a buyer in the current market is at its highest point at any time over the past ten years.

The analysis of over 13 million listings tracked the journey of a property going up for sale to being marked sold subject to contract. Sales that fell through and went on to secure a buyer again were only counted once.

Across Great Britain, 68% of homes successfully found a buyer between June 2020 and June 2021, a jump from 41% in 2012, and the highest percentage in any year over the past ten years.

Looking between 2012 and early 2020, 53% of homes found a buyer on average, with the other 47% either being withdrawn from sale or staying on the market.

Scotland leads the way with 89% of homes successfully finding a buyer, compared to 48% in London. The next best performing area is Yorkshire & the Humber, with nearly eight in every ten homes, 77%, selling.

Areas at the top of the list are all in Scotland, with 94% of homes in Falkirk & East Dunbartonshire finding a buyer, while the bottom end includes high-end markets of London such as Westminster (22%), Kensington & Chelsea (25%), and Camden (28%).

Tim Bannister, Director of Property Data at property website Rightmove, says:

“There’s been a much greater chance of a seller finding a buyer over the past year, which really highlights the sheer number of people who have been determined to move. While the long-term average shows that typically around half of properties sell, the increase in 2021 reflects the frenzied buyer activity we’ve seen in the current market, driven by multiple factors such as pent up demand and changing priorities. This efficiency in the market means agents are operating on limited stock, and they need more homes to satisfy all types of buyers. We’ve seen from previous research that Scotland often contains the most likely areas to find a buyer, and London the least, however the broader numbers are reflective of the trend we’ve been seeing all year, which is that buyers have widened their scope, and the popularity of every area in Great Britain is increasing.”

However, a flattening of the current growth in the property market is predicted. Conveyancing comparison site reallymoving analysed data from 29,000 conveyancing quote forms completed on the home mover’s comparison site over the last three months to provide one of the earliest snapshots of housing market outlook. Conveyancing quote volumes peaked in March at more than double the usual level and remained high in April but dropped by 13% in May and a further 18% in June, suggesting buyer demand is beginning to fall.

Rob Houghton, CEO of reallymoving, comments:

“A slowdown in the remarkable rate of growth we’ve seen over the last few months was inevitable and looking ahead over the next three months, the data indicates that the market is softening which will be reflected in completed sales data heading into the autumn. With the influence of the Stamp Duty holiday now largely expired alongside early signs that buyer demand is returning to more normal levels, we can expect prices to follow suit and return to a more stable trajectory.

“Despite this period of readjustment, we believe the market will continue to perform well over the longer term. Working arrangements for many people are yet to be tested and finalised, with the rise in home-working no doubt continuing to drive home movers for some time to come. There will be a contingent of buyers who realised pretty quickly that rising prices were wiping out any tax savings and decided to hold off until the market cooled, who, along with First Time Buyers who largely didn’t benefit from the stamp duty saving, may decide to make their move later this year.”

Today's Conveyancer