“Housing market still strong,” says NAEA

Amanda Jarvis

December 3, 2001

The results of the monthly housing market survey found a marked increase in the number of both enquiries and viewings, which are the two most important indicators of underlying consumer confidence. However, the survey also found that the number of first-time buyers coming into tthe market continues to average around 24 per cent, which is another important indicator of consumer confidence.

Hugh Dunsmore-Hardy, chief executive of the NAEA, said: “With demand still exceeding supply in many areas, the housing market continues to demonstrate an underlying stability which has not been undermined by recent threats to consumer confidence.”

Other information revealed in the survey showed that the average length of time between instruction and sale has dropped dramatically from twelve to 7.5 weeks, and that the average difference between asking and sale price had fallen from 20 per cent to 13.5 per cent.

“These statistics reveal that sellers are being rather more realistic in terms of their asking price which is generally encouraging a larger number of corresponding offers. This is helping to speed up the purchasing process,” said Hardy.

Jim Atkins, president of the NAEA, said: “The housing market usually starts to slow down during the Autumn as people anticipate the Christmas break, so these results, overall, are very positive.”

He added: “It is likely that many more people are looking towards the property market for investment purposes as a result of the poor performance of the stock market during recent weeks.”This may be a contributing factor to the relatively high levels of activity and buoyancy in prices for this time of year and the recent cut in interest rates means that more attractive mortgage packages are available to potential buyers.”

“Meanwhile, although the current market is robust, some agents are citing continuing concerns about the economy and global tensions as having a slight dampening effect in their area.”

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