FTSE and US stocks in the green as UK house sales projected to sink 20% in 2023

How major markets are performing on Wednesday

A man looks at houses for sale in the window of an estate agents in Manchester, Britain, June 22, 2023. REUTERS/Phil Noble
The UK is experiencing the biggest dip in housing sales in a decade. Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

The FTSE 100 was in the green on Wednesday in London, even as fresh data from online real estate portal Zoopla projected the biggest dip in housing sales for a decade in 2023.

The monthly monitor found that sales volumes were down 20% so far compared with 2022 and forecast sales to be the lowest since 2012 by the end of the year.

This has followed a dip in housing prices as mortgage rates ratchet up amid a period of persistently high inflation and central bank rate hikes.

“It is the number of sales that have been hit hardest by higher borrowing costs, especially amongst mortgage reliant buyers,” said Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla.

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The report also found that house price growth has slowed to its lowest rate in 12 years as people are priced out of buying by rising mortgage rates. Buyer demand fell by more than a third in the four weeks to Aug 20, according to the data. That was compared to the same period over the last five years.

Meanwhile, fresh Bank of England data shows that mortgage approvals dipped 10% in July, to 49,400 from 54,600 in June. June saw mortgage rates hit fresh highs.

This came with a rise in the value of borrowing which hit £200m in July, up from June's £100m.

Despite the housing gloom, the FTSE (^FTSE) rose 0.1% by the closing bell. Germany's Dax (^GDAXI) pulled back 0.2% and the Cac (^FCHI) in Paris was down 0.1%.

US stocks were off to a quiet start after yesterday's bullish run. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 0.1%, the Dow (^DJI) was up 0.2% and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) was almost flat.

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Watch: Zoopla says number of UK property sales on track to fall to lowest level in a decade

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