Latest Data Suggests Housing Stock At Lowest Recorded Levels

Both the supply and demand of property decreased in March as the anti-climax of the Brexit deadline continued to deter buyers and sellers from entering the property market.

Demand for housing is now at its lowest levels in six-years. Since March 2017, housing demand has fallen by 25% according to the NAEA Propertymark’s March Housing Report.

In March 2017, there were 397 prospective buyers registered per estate agent branch. In March 2018, this figure shrank to 308 and although the 296 registered buyers per branch in March represented a 17% increase from February’s 252, it remains flat with January’s 297 and nowhere near the expected and usual levels of interested Spring house hunters.

Similarly, the average supply of properties available to buy has also fallen to its lowest levels in March since records began in 2002.

The average of 37 houses per branch now represents the lowest figure the usually buoyant Spring period has seen and falls significantly short of the six-year average of 46 properties per branch. The fact that this number has increased from the 34 available properties in February highlights the slight decline in the property market at the moment.

For the three months to March, sales agreed per branch has remained flat at seven. However, this is a slight fall from the eight registered per branch in 2018 and a 30% decrease from 10 sales in 2017 and 2016.

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, commented:

“Despite the fact that activity in the housing market increased in March, the levels of supply and demand recorded aren’t where we would expect them to be at this time of year. It’s clear buyers and sellers are still feeling cautious and holding off on making any decisions in light of the current political climate and economic uncertainty. However, recent house price data indicates we might see confidence in the market grow as house prices slowly begin to return to previous levels and we edge closer to the summer months.”

How concerning are the latest figures for the conveyancing sector? Have you noticed a decline in transactions in 2019?

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