National Association of Estate Agents have indicated that the number of properties available to buy per estate agent branch has plunged worse now than in 11 years since January 2004. Last month there were 38 houses available per branch in August, compared to 55 in July.
August also saw a decrease in registered buyers with an average of 408 per member branch, compared to 462 in July – this is a 12% drop. The number of sales completed in August rose by one to an average 10 properties per branch.
Sales made to first time buyers dropped to the lowest level since July 2014. One in five sales were made to first time buyers in August, in comparison to almost one in four in July and June, indicating that movement in the market is visible at the top end.
Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director says “There simply aren’t enough houses to match demand and we’re reaching crisis point. There are now 11 house hunters fighting after every available house which isn’t sustainable”.
He goes on to say that “First time buyers are finding themselves being squeezed out of the competition, which of course means it’s taking young buyers longer to get their foot on the first step of the ladder, which will in turn increase pressure on the rental market.”