First-time Buyers

One in five homebuyers pay more than asking price

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The number of homebuyers paying above the asking price to secure a property has nearly tripled in nine months.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) 19% of properties sold for more than the asking price in May, nearly three times more than the 7% recorded in September 2013.

Such stiff competition is affecting the first-time buyer market in particular as buyers with limited budgets struggle to match escalating prices.

The NAEA found that the proportion of first-time buyers purchasing a home in May shrank to 25%, down from 28% in April.

Hayward said: “With limited numbers of houses for sale, unfortunately it means that those who simply can’t afford to increase their original offer will often be pushed out of the market.”

The study found that the supply of new homes had dropped by 27% since this time last year, with just 44 properties available per NAEA registered branch.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said:

“The number of house-hunters is substantially higher than the number of properties on the market, so competition is always going to be rife.

“Unfortunately the lack of housing problem is not going to away anytime soon. We have seen a shortage in the number of new builds in the last five or so years, and those who are currently in property and looking to move may be put off by stamp duty.”

While speculation about interest rate rises could spur more homeowners to sell before rate increases, the new Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules could result in a slowdown of sales as people struggle to borrow.

Hayward said: “This coupled with recent sharp rises in house prices could start to take some of the strongest heat out of the property market.”