Supply of housing hits a six-month high

Supply of available housing rose to the highest level seen since March this year, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) August Housing Market report

Furthermore, the number of sales made to first time buyers (FTBs) increased by 3% and demand for housing fell marginally, in line with seasonal expectations.

In a sign that the housing market is moving in the right direction, the number of houses available for buyers increased to 41 per branch in August. This is the highest level seen since March this year, when agents reported an average 54 properties registered per branch.

The number of sales made to FTBs increased, from 25% of total sales made in July, to 28% in August. Year on year, this figure is up by 8%, as August 2015 saw just 20% of sales going to FTBs.

Following the interest rate cut, two in five (39%) estate agents expect demand to grow and a quarter (25%) think FTBs will get more cut through as a result.

In August, the number of house hunters registered per member branch fell to an average of 287, from 298 in July.

Mark Hayward, Managing Director of NAEA) says: “Following a few months of uncertainty in the market, it’s more than encouraging to see things moving in the right direction. Although we have seen a slight drop in demand, the fact that supply has risen means more choice for those that are looking for a new home and we can see the impact of that because the rise in sales to FTBs was higher than we normally see in August.

“News from the Treasury this month that government deposits on the Lifetime ISA can be used towards the initial deposit to secure a property and the impact of interest rate cuts will also raise confidence in FTBs that now is a good time to be looking to buy.”

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