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Buyer confidence back up to pre-Brexit levels

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Demand for property is up as buyers brush off Brexit blues

Demand for housing rose by 16% in September as homebuyer confidence bounced back to pre-Brexit levels, according to the National Association of Estate Agents.

It found that the average number of house hunters registered per member branch increased from 287 in August, to 333 – taking the number of prospective house buyers recorded up to the levels seen back in June, when estate agents recorded 330 on average per branch.

Supply of available housing also dropped marginally last month to 40 per branch from 41 in August, which was the highest level seen since March this year.

Sales to first-time buyers

The number of sales made to first time buyers (FTBs) fell in September, according to the NAEA, accounting for 23% of all sales – a decrease of five percentage points from August and the lowest level seen since November last year when 21% of sales were made to the group.

Just one in 10 estate agents (12%) has seen sales to FTBs stall since Brexit, whereas two in five (41%) have witnessed no change.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said: “Buyer confidence is growing, which is obviously reassuring, given that we expected uncertainty following Brexit. Although supply has dropped marginally, this does not concern us as it’s still higher than the levels we saw between April and July.

“However, it is worrying that the number of sales being made to FTBs has fallen to the lowest number in 10 months. The fact the Government’s Help to Buy housing scheme is due to close this year might pose more of a challenge for those who were relying on this to help get their foot on the property ladder. We now look ahead to the Autumn Statement and look forward to seeing what plans the Government puts in place to assist FTBs towards their goal of homeownership.”