Latest market analysis from Jackson-Stops

Latest market analysis from Jackson-Stops
- Analysis of buyer and vendor ratios across the country
- There are now 16 buyers chasing every new home for sale; enquiries are up 41% in 2021
- The South East is the most saturated market, with 20 buyers chasing every new home


There are now 16 buyers chasing every newly listed property on the housing market according to the latest analysis from national estate agent Jackson-Stops. In comparison to the six months prior, there are now three additional buyers for every newly launched property on the market, making competition fierce (see table 1).

This equates to an increase of 23% more buyers chasing each property in comparison to six months ago. The analysis reveals that an urgency to complete transactions ahead of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday, which is set to finish at the end of March, coupled with a re-evaluation of property aspirations, has created a surge in buyer demand which has eroded stock levels across the country.

The research comes at a time when property portal Zoopla has reported a reduction in the number of homes on the market for sale. There are currently 6% fewer homes available for sale than this time last year according to the latest Zoopla House Price Index. In contrast, Jackson-Stops data shows that new buyer registrations are up nationally so far this year by 41%*. This imbalance in the lack of supply of new properties and rising demand from home hunters is putting upward pressure on house price growth, with Zoopla reporting last month that house price growth was at its highest rate since April 2017 (+4.3%). Thus, the current market conditions are creating an optimal climate for those considering a sale.

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments: “Buyers have snapped up stock rapidly across the housing market over the last six months, eroding inventory levels across the country. A reassessment of what homeowners want from their properties due to national lockdowns coupled with the stamp duty holiday has created a swell in demand. Add to this a renewed appetite for a British bolt hole and this has formed one of the busiest markets we’ve seen for years.  Nationally, the rate that new buyers came to the market in the second half of 2020 was much faster than the rate in which new homes were listed for sale and this has continued into 2021, with new buyer registrations up 41%.

“There is fierce competition in the market with 16 buyers now chasing every newly listed home. We are recommending buyers have a mortgage in principle agreed and as much paperwork progressed as possible to ensure they are in the strongest possible position when making an offer on a property. Buyers need to be able to stand out from the masses and these steps can show vendors that they are serious and able to progress quickly.

“For those considering a sale in the next 12 months, now is definitely the right time to start having conversations with agents to ensure they can take strategic advantage of the current market conditions. Vendors who have had their properties accurately valued and have been realistic on pricing should expect attractive offers and a prompt exchange. Even if a potential seller would rather wait until the national lockdown has lifted to list their home, having your property valued, understanding the local market in your area and collating all your necessary documents will ensure you can act quickly once you feel comfortable to do so.

“Linked sales will be invaluable over the coming months, if vendors are also searching for an onwards property they should ask their selling agent whether they have anything that meets their criteria across the business’ network. Not only will this encourage a smoother process in the chain but it will also ensure they are the first to know when a new, suitable property comes to market.”

Table 1: National ratio of buyers to vendors

Regional analysis
The South East market is currently the most saturated of all regions analysed, with 20 buyers chasing every property. This was followed closely by the South West and Midlands which both registered 18 buyers chasing each new home for sale (see table 2).

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, continues: “There is currently the widest difference in the number of new buyer applicants and homes to purchase in the South East of England. This market has been particularly popular amongst buyers looking to relocate out of London now they no longer feel they need to be commuting distance to an office, and with holiday home hunters looking for a place on the Kent coastline. Our Oxted, Sevenoaks and Canterbury branches in particular have seen an uptick in buyer enquiries this year of up to 50%.”

Alastair Hancock, Director at Jackson-Stops’ Sevenoaks branch, comments “There has certainly been a swell of buyers in the market over the last six months. The majority are upsizers who have felt crammed into their houses during lockdown and are now craving more space, gardens and dedicated workspaces. This has resulted in competitive bidding on many sales.

“Conversely, downsizers have been noticeably absent from the market this year and this has created a lull in larger homes being listed for sale which in turn is making competition even tougher amongst buyers looking to upsize. Downsizers are likely to return once national lockdowns have eased and the vaccine programme has been further established, bringing further confidence to these would-be sellers.

“We should see an uptick in larger homes coming to the market from Spring onwards. In the meantime, savvy soon-to-be vendors should start speaking with agents now about what paperwork and other jobs they can get done ahead of launching their property for sale to ensure they are first out of the blocks and benefit from the current lack of supply.”
Table 2: Regional breakdown of buyers to vendors ratio July 2020 vs Jan 2021