Estate agencies have reported an increase in sales for the first time this year, the latest figures from NAEA Propertymark have revealed.
The number of sales agreed per NAEA member branch from an average of seven in March, to eight in April. That is despite the fact that year-on-year the number of property transactions remains the same.
Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, said: “Despite a fall in housing supply and demand, it’s encouraging to see an increase, for the first time this year, in the number of sales going through.
“This means that even though buyers and sellers remain uncertain given the current climate, many are continuing to move forward with their transactions and sales are still happening at the rate we would expect to see at this time of year.
“More than four in five properties are selling for less than the original asking price, so there’s opportunity for house buyers and sellers to negotiate an offer to get a sale moving.”
The number of properties available per member branch fell in April, from 37 in March, to 35. Year-on-year housing supply has increased, with only 33 properties available to buy in April 2018.
After a rise in demand in March, the number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch fell by 10% in April, from 296 to 265.
Year-on-year, demand was at the lowest level recorded for the month of April since 2008 when 237 house hunters were registered on average per branch. Housing demand also fell by a fifth (21%) from April 2018 when there were 337 prospective buyers per branch.
The number of sales made to first-time buyers in April increased marginally, rising from 26% in March, to 27%, up by 3% year-on-year from 24%.