House hunter numbers rise to 11-year high

Sarah Davidson

August 24, 2015

Last month, the June Housing Market Report found demand was at an 11 year high, and this month has seen a further 5% increase in the number of house-hunters looking to buy – an average 462 per branch, compared to 439 last month.

This is the highest recorded since August 2004, when an average 582 house-hunters were recorded per NAEA branch.

Available housing also increased in July, jumping 25% from an average of 44 properties available per NAEA member branch in June, to 55 in July.

These levels have not been seen in almost two years, when 57 houses on average per branch were recorded in September 2013.

However, the number of sales made in July remained static from May and June with just nine per branch indicating that although housing stock is starting to increase, it remains a struggle to complete a purchase.

The July Housing Market Report also revealed that the number of sales made to first-time buyers continued to fall in July, with the group now accounting for just 23% sales.

This has fallen from 24% in June and 29% in May. However, it is an increase on last year, when only a fifth (20%) of sales were made to first-time buyers in July 2014.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the National Association of Estate Agents, said: “Typically, we’d expect to see sales taking longer to complete during the summer months, as buyers and sellers are on holiday.

“It is alarming however, that the number of sales being made to first-time buyers is steadily falling.

“Having said that, the fact that there is more housing coming on to the market means that hopefully over the next few months we’ll see activity in the market increasing and more sales completing, to respond to the growing army of house hunters we’ve seen emerging over the last few months.”

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