The UK has faced a serious shortage of housing for years, but buyers are still on the up. The number of house-hunting Brits has reached a 10-year high, according to the National Association of Estate Agents, but supply is now at a 12-year low for a September.
The NAEA September Housing Market Report found that agents reported an average of 406 house hunters at each branch – the highest number recorded since October 2004, when an average of 511 buyers were reported. While supply of housing increased slightly from last month, from 49 houses available in August to 51 in September, though, the figure is seasonally low for September. Indeed, the last time that supply levels were lower for September was in 2002.
Mark Hayward, Managing Director at the National Association of Estate Agents, said: “September is a notoriously busy month in the housing market; the kids have gone back to school after the summer and people want to get sorted before Christmas, however it seems a lack of affordable and quality housing has been a problem this month. Now that the economy is picking up and Brits are in more comfortable financial situations, more people will want to buy and sell homes, but may be restricted.”
That imbalance between supply and demand has fuelled price rises in the past year. While supply is increasing, helping the growth to cool down to sustainable levels, though, it is still not enough to meet the number of buyers.
Nonetheless, the majority of houses are being sold for under the sellers’ original asking price. Only 4 per cent of properties sold in September were sold for more than the original asking price, and a stark 82 per cent were sold for less than asking price – 16 per cent more than in July, when this was last reported on.
First time buyers are also not being completely priced out of the market, thanks to improving conditions. They accounted for just under a third (30 per cent) of all sales NAEA estate agents reported for the month of September, compared to 28 per cent in August and 20 per cent in July.
Mark Hayward continues: “There’s still a visible gap in the number of house hunters, and the number of properties available and the impending base rate rise is likely to have an effect on this, with almost three quarters of agents reporting evidence of the rise affecting demand already. All of our research does emphasise the need for the government to take action and ensure measures are in place for more homes to be built in order for supply to eventually meet the growing demand.”
Source: The Movechannel