Whilst mortgage products took a bit of a dip ahead of the mini-budget, optimism for the housing market is still strong as it continues to hold healthy.
Harder for Providers
Following the Chancellor’s problematic mini-budget, mortgage lenders started withdrawing rates amid the rising cost of wholesale funding and economic uncertainty, which made it harder for providers to price their products.
This initially fueled further fears that the market was on a downturn, concerned about first-time buyers not being able to pass affordability assessments or interest rate stress tests. Homeowners remortgaging or moving home with new deals were also deemed destined to struggle in paying comparatively higher rates than they currently do.
This pointed to several attractive mortgage deals tumbling being a bitter taste to swallow for intended movers and those with ending fixed-terms, destined to impact buyer budgets that are already stretching themselves thin.
Still Healthy Market
However, the data points to the housing market still moving along very healthily, with the number of sales agreed last week being the highest number in a single day since August.
Demand from buyers sending leads to agents and developers was only down 3 per cent compared with other weeks in the month, while 1.6% of all properties were reduced each day. It is the same level of reductions as earlier in the month with fall-throughs remaining in line with all of September.
On a longer-term look, buyer demand over September was 20% higher than the pre-pandemic five-year average. New sellers are up 8% on 2019 levels and asking prices are currently 15% higher than two years ago. The number of sales agreed last week reaching its highest number in a day could be attributed to people rushing to get their mortgage before rates rose even further.
September’s activity highlights that the market has been surprisingly resilient against the rising rates, with those who can move to be able to go ahead as it stands. Whilst buyer demand has softened in the last few months, buyer demand remains 20% higher than the five-year average, with the number of homes going through conveyancing being 40% higher than in 2019.
The demand for housing is not due to fall off of a cliff anytime soon, but its stability is still good news for those deciding on how to sell a house against those looking to buy property in Stockport.
The current circumstances will no doubt impact some intentional buyers in a big way, and much hinges on the extent to which interest rates rise and how new and far-reaching unemployment levels begin to climb. This may mean that first-time buyers can begin to get a good foothold helped by the recent stamp duty adjustment.