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Dow Jones Newswires: U.K. house seller confidence stabilized in December, sales rose

Sentiment toward the U.K. housing market appears to have broadly stabilized in December with the number of sellers expecting a quick sale roughly flat and the number of homes sold in under a month rising, according to new data from OnTheMarket PLC.

Measuring more than 120,000 consumer responses, the property sentiment index found around 64% of interviewed sellers were confident they would carry out a property transaction within the next three months, up slightly from 63% in November. However, the number that expect to sell a property within the next six months fell to 26% in December from 27% in November, the online property portal said.

Over the month, a total of 60% of properties were sold subject to contract within 30 days of first being advertised for sale, a big improvement from 42% in November when the market was reeling from the fallout of former Prime Minister Liz Truss’s minibudget, and even from 53% in December 2021 when the market was significantly more buoyant.

“There were concerns that transactions would grind to a halt in a high inflationary environment, yet while December is traditionally a quieter month, our data indicates…that motivated vendors who priced their homes accurately were still able to transact,” Chief Executive Jason Tebb said.

There are still deals to be done and evidence suggests that serious buyers and sellers continue to engage with each other despite macroeconomic headwinds, though sellers will need to be realistic when pricing properties as the market becomes ever more challenging against the backdrop of a higher cost of living and rising interest rates, Mr. Tebb said.

Write to Joe Hoppe at joseph.hoppe@wsj.com

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