What factors have affected the property industry in 2022?

There are many things that can affect the market, here we discuss some of the key disruptors to the property market since the pandemic in 2020.

  • Westminster; we have had three prime ministers, four chancellors and four home secretaries in 2022, some having very different policies.
  • Property listings; when a property is listed all non-avoidable costs must be added, this includes council tax, service charge, ground rent, water, electric and gas charges.
  • Purplebricks; although they still have huge brand awareness, their policies have had to adapt and have also changed CEO.
  • Boomin collapse; this was the property portal from Purplebricks, although less competition is not a good thing as it takes away customer choice, it just didn’t offer anything to differentiate the user experience.
  • Cost of living crisis, this has caused many to  re-evaluate their needs, both for rental and purchases.


Three prime ministers, four chancellors and four Home Secretaries. It’s been chaotic for British politics. Johnson was essentially forced out, Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-Budget ended time Downing Street after only 44 days setting a record for the shorted time as Prime Minister. Now we have Rishi Sunak; who resigned as Chancellor aiding Boris’s step down, although he previously lost to Truss in the summer leadership race.

It’s been very hard to keep up with and, of course, has had a knock-on impact for the property industry. We’ve seen Michael Gove be sacked and reappointed as Housing Secretary, and in-between very short-lived reigns for Greg Clark and Simon Clarke. There also seems to have been about a million different Housing Ministers this year and numerous changes at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Only now does that department seem to have some sense of stability again, but housebuilding and planning continues to be a thorny issue for the government and is testing the PM’s authority. The paralysis at the heart of government for big parts of this year has meant very little progress has been made on property-related legislation, although there does now seem to be some momentum behind the rental reform proposals again.

Sunak hasn’t yet announced any major housing policies or schemes, which could be something he seeks to change next year. But he may feel his priorities lie elsewhere. It will be down to the industry to keep up the pressure on the government with regards to transforming the home buying and selling process and other important matters.

Property Listings

Progress has been made when it comes to upfront information on property listings. There’s still more to do; the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) have taken the lead on this, in collaboration with the portals, trade bodies and other key industry figures.

There remains some disagreement over what this upfront information should include; should it really have things like broadband speeds and renewable energy sources, or is that asking too much? It’s been good to see some sense of progress on these important of issues which can often influence buying or renting decisions.

Too many sales still fall through, and sales collapsing are going to hit even harder in a tougher market, so we need the momentum behind upfront information to continue into 2023 and beyond.

Sunak has shown no signs of stalling this momentum, and it seems unlikely the main opposition parties would seek to row back on these plans.


The drama surrounding the ailing online brand, which seems to have move from one crisis to another in 2022.

While it still commands better brand awareness than pretty much any other UK agency, the numbers are not stacking up; with recent financial results that can only be described as dire. This has led to very public calls for chair Paul Pindar to go and be replaced by industry veteran and former Countrywide man Harry Hill.

A crunch vote takes place on this week, with activist investor Adam Smith leading the charge for a change in chairman.

2022 has also seen the beleaguered agency witnessing a change in CEO, with Vic Darvey quitting in March for personal reasons and a delayed appointment of Helena Marston as his replacement. It has also hired agency big hitters Adrian Gill and Gareth Helm, and a new director of risk and compliance, Helen Martin, to try and transform its fortunes.

It’s been in the news probably more than any other property company in this year and continues to be the firm that generates the most controversy with fixed fees and often poor service. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with the troubled brand in 2023.

Cost of Living Crisis.

The rising cost of living has caused many homeowners, renters and potential first time buyers to re-evaluate their needs. As we recover from a post pandemic world, we also impacted by the ongoing war in Ukraine adding to the cost of imported goods; coinciding with the effect of Brexit.

Many people are delaying their move, waiting to see what happens next and if the market will recover. However we find that the cost of living is causing many people to look for alternative options that could save them money.

Moving to more rural areas, outside of major cities has its benefits; you can get more space for your home office. Properties are often more affordable, meaning lower rent or mortgage repayments. There can still be really good commuter links, schools and properties with better energy performace ratings A-C have also seen greater demand among both buyers and renter alike.