Has the UK switched to a buyers' from a sellers' market?

 
Has the UK switched to a buyers' from a sellers' market?

For the past year, a supply and demand issue prevalent across the British property market, wherein there have been far more buyers than homes for sale, has meant that sellers have been in the driving seat. Able to attract the very best prices and completing on sales in a matter of weeks, it has been a good time to sell, but is the tide starting to turn?

According to the latest statistics, it seems that this may well be the case, with buyers now in a far better position than they have been since banks eased their lending conditions in 2013. 

In the past year, independent estate agent haart reports, the number of new homes that have come to market has swelled by some 7.3 per cent, while the volume of new buyers looking for somewhere to buy has fallen by 2.8 per cent in the same period. 

This reality should go a long way to redressing the severe supply and demand imbalance that saw many buyers chasing each home that came to market, making for a competitive buying process that saw prices swell and many unable to afford to buy. 

In fact, haart said that this is already starting to happen. In January of 2014 there were 14.4 buyers after every property for sale, but as of now, this figure has seen a considerable fall, dropping to 9.5 buyers for each house. 

"The second half of 2014 marks a shift in favour of buyers as healthy volumes of stock return to the market," said Paul Smith, chief executive officer of haart.

"At the start of this year demand for homes was growing at a far greater rate than property supply but this trend has flipped and stock is coming to the market in healthy levels, up seven per cent annually, yet demand has fallen by almost three per cent in the same period," he added.

The lower number of buyers around means that there is more choice for those looking to get on the property ladder, while they are able to make more realistic offers for properties, rather than having to fork out for inflated prices.