Ten buyers for each property

  • Sales to FTBs fell by 10%
  • The number of house-hunters registered per branch rose by 20% as the supply of housing available to buy fell in November
  • NAEA releases November Housing Market Report

Supply dipped and demand grew, as number of sales made to first time buyers (FTBs) fell in November, reveals the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) November Housing Market Report1.

After a promising period from July to October in which the number of sales made to FTBs grew, in November, the percentage of sales made to the group fell by 10%. Sales as a whole are down by one percent – which is typical of this time of year – but sales to FTBs have nose-dived dramatically – and estate agents believe it will only get worse.

The Chancellor outlined plans to help FTBs get on the housing ladder during his Autumn Statement at the start of last month, but over half (53%) of NAEA members think the group will continue to feel squeezed out of the market, due to the lack of affordable housing.

Supply and demand

The lack of supply and growing demand for housing continued to drive the market in to the ground, as the number of house-hunters grew by 20% and available stock fell. In October, there were 336 house-hunters on average registered per branch, rising to 403 in November. Available housing decreased marginally in November, from 43 properties managed per branch last month, to 41 this month – meaning there are now 10 prospective buyers battling it out for each property.

Mark Hayward, Managing Director, National Association of Estate Agents, said: “It’s very normal at this time of year that demand is high and supply is low. House hunters hoping to find their dream property in the New Year have registered interest with agents, whilst those hoping to sell are holding off putting their properties on the market before January. However, supply is outweighing demand so heavily now that it can’t solely be attributed to seasonality.

“It’s clear that we’re faced with a crisis here: the housing market needs addressing as a matter of urgency. Our recent Housing 2025 report2 compiled with Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) found that by 2025, house prices are set to rise by 50% – and if we don’t act now, this will impact FTBs, second steppers and last steppers, forcing many out of home ownership.

“The Government has made efforts to address the issue of supply and demand, with Osborne outlining plans to build 200,000 new starter homes in his Autumn Statement, but four fifths of our agents think it simply isn’t enough. It’s all very well planning to build houses, but we need to move to action and get and the bricks and mortar on the ground, if we’re to solve the crisis we’re faced with.”

1 All figures from the NAEA’s November 2015 Market Report

2 Full report can be found here: http://www.naea.co.uk/media/1043988/housing-2025.pdf

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