UK home sellers rush to put property on market after prices dip

London: Britain’s homeowners have brought a flood of properties to the market at a moment when high borrowing costs have reduced the number of buyers, according to an industry survey.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said that its gauge measuring the monthly increase in new homes coming onto the market hit its highest level since 2020 in April. The average inventory of places for sale at each agent reached a three-year high.

The combination of rapidly rising supply of new homes for sale and a dip in demand from buyers may lengthen a period of stagnation in property prices. While the market has avoided a sharp plunge many forecasters expected last year, it’s struggled to gain ground in the past few months.

“This has all the makings of a buyers’ market – except for the fact there are so few buyers,” said Sarah Coles, head of personal finance, Hargreaves Lansdown.

Experts said that weak supply was partially responsible for the resilient house prices seen last year. However, a boost in listings now could have the opposite effect at a time when the house price recovery and buyer demand are faltering.

Figures from the Nationwide Building Society have shown house prices slipping back in recent months after an uptick in mortgage rates since January that has dented affordability. Rival lender Halifax meanwhile said prices have barely budged lately.