Demand for housing hits 16-year high

Property Reporter
29th October 2020
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The usual September rush that floods the housing market has been amplified by the looming deadline of the Stamp Duty Holiday, resulting in the highest number of house hunters recorded in 16 years.

According to the latest data and analysis from NAEA Propertymark, in September, the number of prospective buyers registered per estate agent branch rose by 33% from 396 in August, to 525 in September - figures not seen since June 2004, when 581 were recorded per branch.

The data revealed that an average of 14 sales was agreed per branch – the highest recorded since August 2006 and a fifth of sales were made to first-time buyers in September – the lowest recorded since March 2013.

The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch stood at 14 in September, the highest figure recorded since August 2006. This is an increase from 12 sales agreed per branch in August. Year-on-year, the number of sales per branch has increased by 75 per cent, rising from eight in September 2019.

The number of sales made to FTBs stood at 19% in September – the lowest amount recorded since March 2013, when the figure also stood at 19%. This is a fall from 23 per cent from August, and 30% in September 2019.

The number of properties available per member branch stood at 41 in September, rising marginally from 40 in August.

In September, eight per cent of properties sold for more than the original asking price. This is a fall from August’s high when 13 per cent of properties sold for more than the original asking price. The majority (53%) of properties sold for less than the original asking price in September.

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark, comments: “Buyers and sellers always tend to flood the housing market in September with the hope of completing their transactions before the festive period kicks off. However, the pressure of completing sales ahead of the stamp duty holiday deadline means we’ve seen a large spike in buyers and sellers coming to the market – with an average of 13 buyers to every available property.

“This boom has been hugely beneficial for the housing market; however, with a stamp duty cliff edge on the 31st March, we are calling on Government to rethink these timings due to the increased pressure on service providers within the industry which is causing delays for buyers and sellers. Failure to find a solution to the cliff edge, whether that be a taper or extension, could cause thousands of sales to fall at the final hurdle and have a knock-on and drastic effect on the housing market which has recovered well from the Covid slump.”


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