NAEA – First-time buyer sales hit seven-month high as demand falls
First-time buyers are taking advantage of reduced competition in the housing market as demand falls to a six-year low, according to the latest data from NAEA Propertymark.
The number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch fell by 15% in February to the lowest number seen since July 2013.
NAEA figures show that demand for housing has fallen by a fifth year-on-year, by 41% from 2017 and by 46% from 2016.
First-time buyers took advantage of this reduced competition in the market last month with sales hitting a seven-month high of 30%, a 4% monthly rise in market share.
Mark Hayward, chief executive at NAEA Propertymark, said: “With demand at a seven-year low, buyers are approaching the market with caution. As we move into spring, we would usually expect to see an increase in activity, but house hunters are evidently delaying their plans until the impact of Brexit is clearer. Over the last seven months however, we’ve seen periods where first-time buyers have taken advantage of reduced competition and driven their transactions forward, and this really picked up in February.
“The next few months will be very telling – will activity pick up once there’s further clarity on what Brexit means, or will it push the housing market into a deeper pool of uncertainty? Time will tell, but in the meantime both buyers and sellers should feel positive. There are still house hunters searching for properties and there are still new homes coming onto the market.”
Source: Financial Reporter