Demand outstripped supply of housing in 2017
Demand for property has been higher this year than in 2016, according to NAEA Propertymark.
The trade association found that there was an average 380 prospective buyers registered per member branch, compared to 365 on average over the course of last year.
But it noted that the supply of new homes onto the market has been stagnant over 2017, averaging 39 properties available per branch, the same as 2016.
Sales inch up
Overall sales rose marginally between 2016 and 2017, to nine every month per member branch from eight a month last year.
However, the proportion of total sales made to first-time buyers hit its lowest level since 2013, at just 25% of all sales, down from 28% in 2016.
Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “2017 has been a busy year for the property market, and the Budget announcement to abolish Stamp Duty for first-time buyers has given them some optimism. This year saw an average of 25% of sales to first-time buyers, the lowest in four years.
“Looking to next year it will be interesting to see what impact the Stamp Duty change had on the market, and if it really does help FTBs get on the ladder.
“We still only have a limited supply of housing available and policymakers need to think about how to help others in the chain, such as second steppers and those that would downsize in order to free up more larger homes suitable for families.”
This year, properties sold for less than asking price 77% of the time, and only 4% were sold for more than the original asking price.