NAEA: Demand back to pre-referendum levels

Ryan Fowler

October 27, 2016

housebuyer estate agent window

Home buying confidence in the UK has returned to pre-Brexit vote levels with demand rising by 16% in September, the latest analysis from the National Association of Estate Agents has shown.

The September housing market report the NAEA found that the average number of house hunters registered per member branch increased from 287 in August to 333.

This is a rise of 16% and takes the number of prospective house buyers recorded up to the levels seen back in June, when estate agents recorded 330 on average per branch and comes as supply is starting to fall.

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However, sales to first time buyers are falling. In September first time buyers accounted for 23% of sales, a fall of 5% from August and the lowest level seen since November last year when 21% of sales were made to this group of buyers.

Some 12% of estate agents recorded sales to first time buyers as stalling since the referendum in June while 41% said there was no change in first time buyer activity as a result of the Brexit vote.

The number of houses available to buy decreased marginally in September, to 40 per branch, down from 41 properties per branch recorded in August, which was the highest level seen since March this year while the number of sales agreed rose by 12.5% to an average of nine per branch.

Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director, said: “This month’s report proves that buyer confidence is growing, which is obviously reassuring, given that we expected uncertainty following Brexit.

“Although supply has dropped marginally, this does not concern us as it’s still higher than the levels we saw between April and July. However, it is worrying that the number of sales being made to first time buyers has fallen to the lowest number in 10 months.

“The fact the government’s Help to Buy housing scheme is due to close this year might pose more of a challenge for those who were relying on this to help get their foot on the property ladder. We now look ahead to the Autumn Statement and look forward to seeing what plans the government puts in place to assist first time buyers towards their goal of home ownership.”

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