It is a potentially good time for buy-to-let landlords to add to their portfolio, the latest housing market snapshot suggests.
With buy-to-let continuing to deliver solid returns that outstrip most other asset classes, many buy-to-let landlords are actively looking to add to their portfolio, with plenty of room for negotiations.
The average price of property coming onto the market has dropped by 1.3%, or £3,904, over the past month, which suggests fresh opportunities for buyers to find a winter bargain.
The drop in asking prices reflects a 15% fall in the number of new sellers, as many would-be vendors are deterred by political uncertainty, including Brexit and a general election.
These circumstances have proved to be a negative factor for thousands of prospective sellers, who have postponed their marketing plans.
In contrast, market uncertainty is positive for buyers looking for a bargain, which may explain why the number of sales agreed remains resilient, and is just 2.9% lower than a year ago, suggesting that there are still many buyers in the market to take advantage of those opportunities.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, commented: “I’ve seen lots of unusual events affecting the property market in my 40-year career, but a Brexit deadline followed by a snap general election six weeks later is obviously a new combination for me and for many thousands of buyers and sellers.
“Elections normally dampen activity as uncertainty causes a degree of hesitation, but this one is being called to try to break the deadlock after three years of uncertainty. A more certain outlook, whatever it may be, would be a welcome change for those who are contemplating moving.”
If this reluctance to sell continues into next year’s spring selling season, the lack of new sellers will have knock-on effects throughout 2020, potentially reducing housing market activity, according to Shipside.
He added: “Our monthly poll of the housing market shows a clear swing towards hesitation for prospective sellers, leading to buyers losing the extra choice that thousands more newly-marketed properties would bring. In spite of this, buyers are continuing with their purchasing plans, with the number of sales agreed only marginally down on a year ago.
“Many buyers are getting on with their lives and making the most of the better negotiating opportunities that the distractions of electioneering and the seasonal slowdown in the run-up to Christmas can bring.”