The heady days of the SDLT (Stamp Duty) holiday are now clearly in the past. The future is not so clear but a housing market slowdown has to be a distinct possibility. If the housing market does cool, buyers and sellers will both have to adjust to the change. Here is what that could mean in practice.

How a slow housing market affects buyers

Buyers can benefit from a slow housing market as it may offer lower prices and increased bargaining power due to the reduced competition. Sellers may be more inclined to negotiate on price or make concessions to attract buyers. Moreover, buyers can take advantage of a slow market as it offers more time to consider their options and make informed decisions.

On the other hand, a slow market can have negative effects on buyers, such as a longer time to find a home. The limited availability of homes for sale can make it challenging for buyers to find a property that meets their requirements and budget, leading to frustration.

Additionally, a slow market may result in a lack of inventory in certain areas or price ranges, which can make it even more challenging for buyers to find a suitable home, particularly in popular neighbourhoods.

Strategies for buyers to leverage a slow housing market

In a sluggish real estate market, buyers may find opportunities to purchase homes at lower prices than they would in a more competitive market. Buyers must, however, exercise caution to avoid taking on more than they can afford. This is particularly important when interest rates or inflation rates are high.

While a slow market may provide a favourable bargaining position for buyers, they should keep in mind that sellers may not feel pressured to sell quickly. It’s therefore essential to keep negotiations realistic to avoid being dismissed for not being serious.

On that point, buyers should still obtain pre-approval for a mortgage. This highlights that they are both ready and able to proceed if the seller accepts their offer.

Conducting extensive research before making an offer is also critical, particularly if offering less than the asking price. Buyers should be prepared to provide sound reasoning for their offer, which will make it more likely for the seller to consider their proposal.

How a slow housing market affects sellers

A slow housing market can have significant effects on sellers as well. One of the most obvious impacts is that homes can take much longer to sell. When there are fewer buyers in the market, it can take longer for sellers to find someone who is interested in purchasing their property. This can be particularly challenging for sellers who need to sell their homes quickly, such as those who are relocating for work or facing financial hardship.

In addition to longer selling times, a slow market can also mean increased competition among sellers. When there are fewer buyers in the market, sellers may need to make their properties more attractive in order to stand out from the competition. This can include making repairs or upgrades to the home, lowering the asking price, or offering other incentives to buyers.

Furthermore, a slow market can also lead to lower selling prices. When there are fewer buyers in the market, sellers may need to lower their asking prices in order to attract buyers. This can result in lower profits for sellers or even lead to selling the property for less than its market value.

Strategies for sellers to deal with a slow housing market

In a slow housing market, you cannot just wait for buyers. You need to sell. Alternatively, you need to have a really good salesperson do your selling for you. This means that, for sellers, usually the best way to deal with a slow housing market is to hire the best real estate agent you can find. Their fees may be higher than their competition but that is fine as long as they are worth it. Then listen to and act on their advice.

For mortgage advice please get in touch.


Approved by the Openwork Partnership 15/3/23