Housing Report - April 2018

HOUSING MARKET SWINGS BACK IN THE FAVOUR OF SELLERS

Key Findings

  • Demand from prospective house-hunters increased by nine per cent in April, while the supply of available homes fell
  • The number of sales made to first-time-buyers also decreased
  • Housing market was swinging in the favour of buyers, but the dial has swung back the other way – NAEA Propertymark says

Demand for housing

  • Demand from prospective buyers grew by nine per cent in April; on average, estate agents had 337 house-hunters registered per branch, compared to 308 in March
  • This is much lower than last year though; in April 2017, the figure stood at 381, 13 per cent higher.

Supply of properties

  • In contrast to this, the supply of homes available to buy fell from 40 in March to 33 on average per branch in April.

Sales to first-time buyers (FTBs) and sales per branch

  • Month on month, the number of sales agreed remained the same, with eight per branch in April. However, the percentage made to FTBs dipped from 26 per cent in March, to 24 per cent
  • Year on year, this continues to fall. In April 2017, 25 per cent of sales were made to the group; 26 per cent in 2016 and 2015, and 28 per cent in 2014.

First Time Buyers Percentage

Figure 1: Percentage of sales to first-time buyers

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward

Chief Executive

“Last month our findings indicated that we were entering what looked like a buyer’s market, but this month, the dial has swung back in the favour of sellers. With demand on the up, and the supply of available homes falling once again, buyers will find themselves facing stiff competition from other house-hunters. This is particularly difficult for FTBs who traditionally have less bargaining power on price, so will struggling to enter bidding wars with second or third steppers.

The Government is working to improve the house buying and selling process, which is music to our ears, but until more homes are built and supply catches up with demand, the process will remain difficult.”