FTBs take 29pc market share
In August buyers taking their first step on the housing ladder made up 20% of all sales.
Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents, said: “We’re seeing a whole range of new competitive mortgage products coming on to the market, which is likely to be encouraging first steppers to take the plunge, as well as the fact that the ‘impending’ interest rate rise has now been pushed back to next year at the very earliest.
“However, in order to ensure there is enough affordable housing on the market for FTBs, we need the issue of supply and demand to be addressed in a big way. Until substantial numbers of new houses are built, we won’t see every FTB reach the bottom rung of the ladder.”
The report found that the number of house hunters registered by estate agent dropped by 16% from 408 in August to 342 in September.
The number of homes available to buy, which dropped from 55 in July to 38 in August, fell again to 37 in September.
Hayward added: “If we could just get supply and demand to meet in the middle, the housing market would be functional again; it’s a real issue across the market at the moment.
“Developers are struggling to secure planning permission and labour is in short supply. This means that the army of house-hunters looking to buy has out-grown the number of housing available at a rapid rate, and it’s completely unsustainable.
“The introduction of the Housing and Planning Bill – announced last week – is good news however. It includes an extension of the Right to Buy to Housing Association properties, which should help to increase supply in the housing market as homes that are sold through the scheme will be replaced on a one-for-one basis.
“Nonetheless it’s really important that in urban areas, replacement properties are built within the same local authority boundaries as the original homes that were sold, so that stock is replenished evenly across city regions.”