NAEA: First-time buyers account for 30% of sales

Ryan Bembridge

March 25, 2019

First-time buyers completed 30% of sales in February, a seven-month high, research from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) found.

The NAEA said first-time buyers are taking advantage of a cautious housing market.

The percentage of house sales rose from 26% in January, while the last time it reached February 2019 levels was July 2018.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “With demand at a seven-year low, buyers are approaching the market with caution.

“As we move into Spring, we would usually expect to see an increase in activity, but house hunters are evidently delaying their plans until the impact of Brexit is clearer.

“Over the last seven months however, we’ve seen periods where FTBs have taken advantage of reduced competition and driven their transactions forward, and this really picked up in February.

“The next few months will be very telling – will activity pick up once there’s further clarity on what Brexit means, or will it push the housing market into a deeper pool of uncertainty?

“Time will tell, but in the meantime both buyers and sellers should feel positive. There are still house hunters searching for properties and there are still new homes coming onto the market.”

The number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch fell by 15% in February to 252 from 297.

This is the lowest figure since July 2013.

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