Property sales down 38%
The latest National Association of Estate Agents’ (NAEA) Housing Market Report revealed that there were 62 properties for sale per estate agent branch in September, a healthy increase from 60 per branch in August, but significantly down on the 100 per branch in December 2008.
Mark Hayward, president of the NAEA said:
“This pre-recession comparison shows the true extent of the drop in the levels of available housing since the economic downturn took hold. “A combination of increased seller caution and a seizing up of activity within the house building sector has led to a significant reduction in the number of homes on offer for would-be house buyers.
“While it’s important that house hunters have access to funding and mortgage finance, a more meaningful commitment to delivering higher volumes of new homes is required to get the market moving again.
“Government initiatives such as the recent Newbuy scheme, which allows lenders to supply 90 to 95 per cent mortgages for homebuyers, have not yet had a tangible impact on the development of new homes and their aspirations are arguably too low. Our research supports findings from the Future Homes Commission, which calls for a threefold increase in the number of new homes entering the market annually.”
The report also showed that the percentage of sales made to first-time buyers grew in September, accounting for 23% of sales, up from 18% in August.
The number of sales made by agents was stable for a seventh consecutive month, with branches selling an average seven properties in September.
The number of house hunters entering the market decreased slightly from an average per branch of 288 in August to 275 in September.