Home-buying process outdated say estate agents

A recent report has revealed that 79% of estate agents agree that the home-buying process is outdated.

The figure from the NAEA Propertymark (National Association of Estate Agents) echoes the views of the Government, recently reflected in their ‘Call for Evidence’ to improve the home-buying process launched last week.

The monthly housing report also indicated an increase in both supply and demand for housing, whilst agreed and first time buyer sales remained unchanged.

In September, the number of house hunters registered at estate agents rose to the highest level seen since March this year, with 394 on average per branch.

In terms of supply, the number of properties available to buy on estate agents’ books increased from 37 in August, to 41 in September, again the highest number recorded since March this year.

Whilst both supply and demand for properties saw a rise in September, the number of sales agreed remained relatively unchanged, with an average of eight agreed per branch – the same as July and August.

The proportion of sales made to first time buyers was 23% in September, which is also the same as the previous two months.

Commenting on the figures, as well as the Government’s consultation, was Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, Mark Hayward. He stated: “The Government’s announcement last weekend that it will consult to reform the home-buying process couldn’t come soon enough, and we welcome it. Our findings show that estate agents agree, and would welcome changes to ensure the process for buying and selling is brought into the twenty first century. The current prolonged process means sales are stagnating despite the fact that the supply of housing is up, and there is growing demand. Hopefully we will see activity pick up marginally in the short term, when properties which are being marketed now are taken off the market and pushed through, so buyers can be in before Christmas.”

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