Rightmove is predicting an average drop of just two per cent in asking prices next year - far less than many other industry commentators and, even at that level, open to substantial variations.
It says that affordability constraints will bite in some segments and sectors of the market much more than others, which makes a national average price prediction for new to the market properties more difficult than usual this year.
And it forecasts that this will lead to a more pronounced hyper-local market, where one side of a city, town or even street could fare better than another, depending on the types of property available and the desirability and affordability of the exact location.
Its prediction statement says: “After many months of having to act extremely quickly, there will be less urgency in the market as buyers wait for the right home to become available for their needs, and some sellers will hold out hoping for a price that matches their expectations.
“We could therefore see a stand-off in the early months of 2023 between some sellers who are in no rush to drop their prices, and those affordability-strapped or hesitant buyers. This will lead to homes taking longer to sell, and we could see a return to the more normal time to find a buyer of around 60 days.”
It also warns people to manage their expectations, saying: “After two and a half years of frenetic activity it’s easy to forget that having multiple bidders immediately lining up to buy your home was the exception rather than the norm in pre-pandemic years, and there will be a period of readjustment for home-movers as properties take longer to find the right buyer.
“We’re heading towards a more even balance between supply and demand next year, but we don’t expect a surge in forced sales which would cause a glut of properties for sale and contribute to more significant price falls in 2023. This is reflected in our prediction of a relatively modest average fall of two per cent next year.”
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