March housing supply lowest since records began

A Housing Report for March has recently been issued by the NAEA Propertymark (National Association of Estate Agents).

The report covers various aspect of the property market, highlighting supply, sales, as well as demand.

The figures show that levels of supply are at a record low for the month of March, falling to the lowest number since records began in 2002.

On estate agents’ books, the number of available properties dropped from February’s figure of 44 to 39.

As estate agents had 54 properties available on their books during March 2016, this is an annual fall of 28%.

Similarly falling in March was levels of demand. The number of registered home buyers per branch dropped 397, down from 425 in February.

During the corresponding month last year, per branch there were 417 potential buyers registered, indicating that demand has fallen by 5% on an annual basis.

Where sales were concerned, a higher proportion went to those just getting onto the property ladder,  in comparison to the previous month. First-time buyers made up a quarter of agreed sales, rising from 22% in February.

February’s dip was significant – 8% down from January’s 30%. The figures for March suggest that the market is moving in a positive direction.

During March, per branch, there was an average of 10 sales agreed. This a slight drop from February’s figures of 11 – the highest number on record since September 2007.

The price of property also grew, with 5% of properties selling for over their original asking price. Since the low of 12% observed in November of last year, this figure has steadily increased.

It has also been a year since the higher rates of stamp duty land tax on second homes was introduced. Figures from the NAEA suggest that the impact has been significant; 64% of estate agents have noted a fall in demand from buy-to-let property investors.

In regard to the effect on house prices, 37% of agents have witnessed a rise directly resulting from the reforms.

Commenting on the figures was Mark Hayward. The Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark highlighted the need to increase the housing supply in order to meet the high levels of demand.

“There are currently 10 house-hunters chasing each available property, and with supply at the lowest level for March since records began, building more homes to satisfy demand needs to be a priority. In line with this, while sales to FTBs rose slightly in March, they’re still much lower than the levels seen in the last three months of 2016 which is cause for concern. The upcoming General Election is a good opportunity for each Party to outline their plans for tackling the housing crisis – we hope to see it prioritised so we can make the market a better place once and for all.”


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