55% of UK estate agents worried about current market outlook

Research by property purchasing specialist, House Buyer Bureau, has revealed that more than half (55%) of estate agents are worried about the current outlook for the UK property market, with a quarter fearing the worst in the form of a significant market crash.

House Buyer Bureau surveyed over 600 UK estate agents to ascertain their professional feeling on the current state of the market, what they are seeing on the ground from a buyer and seller standpoint and how they are proceeding with market uncertainty at a high.

The results show that 55% of agents are worried about the current outlook for the UK property market, with just 11% stating they still felt confident about the months ahead.

What’s more, 26% believe that we are most likely to see a significant market crash over the coming months, with a further 37% predicting there will at least be a downward turn in house prices, while 27% are anticipating house prices to flatline.

32% stated they had seen a slight decline in business from home sellers, with 10% seeing a more significant reduction in seller activity. However, almost a quarter (24%) did state that business had been on the up.

27% also revealed that buyer demand for the homes they were selling had remained robust, although 42% have seen buyer demand levels start to decline, with a further 43% stating that buyers are also offering less compared to the pandemic house price highs of the last two years.

As a result, 41% revealed that they are now advising sellers to adjust their asking price expectations in line with the lower level of homebuyer purchasing power being seen.

With tough times ahead, it’s hardly surprising that just 12% stated they would be lowering their fee over the coming months, even in an attempt to win more business.

When it comes to just how long agents believe these tough times will remain, 33% believe the market is in for a long term period of adjustment, lasting beyond next year. 41% believe it will be a mid-term correction lasting throughout next year, with 26% hopeful they will return to business as usual by the new year.

Managing Director of House Buyer Bureau, Chris Hodgkinson, commented: “The market is holding firm for the time being, but the wider expectation amongst those on the ground is that a correction is on the way in one form or another.

We’re already starting to see early signs of this correction with a good proportion of agents already noticing a decline in both buyer and seller activity, as well as a reduction in the pandemic high house prices that buyers are willing to pay.

With many also fearing a mid to long-term period of muted market activity, it certainly looks as though the sector is in for a tougher year in 2023.”