Number of house hunters at a 10 year high

published on 07/11/2014  

The number of people actively looking to buy property in September reached the highest level since 2004, the latest Housing Market Report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) shows. The NAEA report for September found that member agents reported an average of 406 house hunters at each branch – the highest number recorded since October 2004, when an average of 511 buyers were reported. Encouragingly, the research found that first-time buyers now account for 30 per cent of all sales NAEA estate agents reported for the month of September, up from 28 per cent in August and 20 per cent in July. However, despite the rise in demand from prospective purchasers, transaction levels are being held back by a lack of housing supply, despite a marginal increased in the volume of properties available in September. The NAEA report found that the supply of housing rose from 49 residential properties available in August to 51 in September – a seasonally low figure for September. The last time that supply levels were lower for September was in 2002, when 43 homes were available per NAEA member branch. Despite the supply-demand imbalance, most properties are being sold for under the sellers’ original asking price, with just 4 per cent of properties sold in September for over the original asking price, and a stark 82 per cent were sold for less than asking price – 16 per cent more than in July.