Housing supply jumped 54% in last month – NAEA

First time buyers are first in line to benefit when it comes to the increase in stamp duty on second homes according to the National Association of Estate Agents with the number of FTBs up 28% in March.

Just short of 40% of estate agents expect the buy-to-let (BTL) stamp duty reforms to increase availability for FTBs – as BTL investors back away – further boosting sales for the group. More than a third (36%) of estate agents argue sales to FTBs will pick up further, due to less competition for properties.

The NAEA are also reporting the average number of houses registered has increased a huge 54%$, from 35 per branch to 54 per branch. In further good news for those currently looking to buy, the association are also reporting a decrease in demand with 417 house hunters per branch, down from 463 in February.

The decrease is coming from a high base however, as February’s average number of house hunters per branch was the highest for twelve years.

In March, estate agents also reported a decrease in the number of properties selling for more than asking price. Only seven% of agents saw this happen in March, compared to 11% in February.

Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said: “The last few months FTB’s have had to compete with landlords for the same properties and those landlords have really pushed hard to complete ahead of the rise in stamp duty. Now, in theory things should get easier for FTBs – as we have seen with a slight increase in sales this month – as those seeking to buy to let will tail off.

“However in reality, it’s unlikely in the long term that FTB’s will notice a huge difference, as prices remain high and housing is in short supply. Government needs to significantly increase the number of homes that are being built in this country to really make a difference to those that are struggling to get on the housing ladder.”

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