Property market upbeat and comparable with 2019 despite upcoming election, says TwentyEA

Buyers and sellers are proving determined to press ahead with their home moves, despite the looming general election, research has shown.

Not only has the property market’s activity proved steady since the election was called on May 22, but it has also remained higher than last year in terms of demand and supply.

TwentyEA, part of the TwentyCi group, examined the data across the 14 days following May 22 (May 23 to June 5) and found the number of SSTCs was 51,025, a 9% rise from 46,802 in the same period in 2023.

At the same time, the supply of new instructions was 70,049 – a rise of 3.4% from 67,753 last year. Both the demand and supply metrics are more aligned with the same 14 days in 2019 – the last normal market prior to the pandemic.

This is a continuation of the activity seen since the start of the year, with the market generally performing well and closely comparable with 2019. The supply of new instructions for the first five months of 2024 was at a six-year high of 763,651. This figure was up by 13% compared with the same period last year and 5% in 2019. Demand (the number of SSTCs) rose by 17% from 2023 to 529,172, increasing 5.5% from 2019.

The supply/demand ratio was 69.3% from January to May 2024. This was slightly up on last year’s 67.1% but back in line with the more normal market of 2019 when it was 69%.

Across all regions of the UK, supply levels were higher than last year. The South West saw a 16.5% increase, the South East 15.3%, Scotland 14.8%, Inner London 14.6%, and the East of England 14.0%. Since 2019, new instructions have increased the most in Inner London, rising by 26.6%.

Demand has also increased across various regions. Outer London saw a 19.2% rise in SSTCs, the East of England 19.1%, Inner London 18.4%, the West Midlands 18.3%, and the East Midlands 18.2%. Since 2019, demand has increased the most in Inner London, with a rise of 21%.

Katy Billany, executive director of TwentyEA, said: “With activity remaining steady despite the upcoming election, the market is looking pretty upbeat and is comparable with 2019, the period prior to the pandemic.

“There’s a healthy balance in the number of deals being struck compared with the volume of new instructions coming to market.

“Since the start of the year to the end of May, there was a 17.2% rise in the number of price changes compared with last year but this was most likely a sign of sellers becoming more realistic that the frenzied markets of 2021 and 2022 were firmly behind us.

“Fall throughs increased by 11.5% since 2023 and we believe this is closely linked to affordability issues such as the rise in mortgage rates, which have given some buyers cold feet or left them with a change of circumstances. As rates come down, stability will gather pace.”