Only a fifth of agents have reported being busier than last year as higher mortgage rates and inflation weigh on the market.
A survey among 500 UK estate agents, commissioned by GetAgent, gauged current market conditions based on buyer interest, stock levels, new seller enquiries and other market indicators such as price offered, fall-throughs and down valuations.
When asked how current buyer interest levels compare, just 22% stated they were busier than this time last year, 32% stated they were as busy as this time last year, with 46% stating they were less busy.
However, there has been a 4% increase in the number of those who stated they were busier than last year when compared to January of this year, GetAgent said, with a 7% increase in those stating they were as busy and a 11% reduction in those stating they were less busy.
Additionally, 41% they were currently holding less for sale stock compared with this time last year, down 10% versus January, while 26% said they currently had more for sale stock, up 7% versus January.
There has also been a 2% increase in the number of those stating they were seeing more new enquiries from sellers, now at 27% versus 25% in January.
However, 56% stated they were seeing buyers submit offers at below asking price, up 6% from 50% in January. There has also been a 6% increase in the number of agents seeing offers for above asking price, albeit a comparatively low 18% of respondents, up from 11% from the start of the year.
Half of the respondents also said they were seeing more sales falling through, up 10% since the start of the year.
The research shows that in