UK Housing Market Report for September 2017

Estate Agents Agree – ‘House Buying Process Is Outdated’

  • In September, supply and demand for housing was up, but sales agreed remained flat, as eight in 10 estate agents argued that the home-buying process is outdated
  • Sales to first-time buyers (FTBs) remained the same as the previous two months, as well as sales

House-buying process

  • As the Government’s announces it will consult on the home-buying and selling process, the NAEA Propertymark September Housing Report reveals that last month, eight in 10 (79 per cent) agents confirmed that the home-buying process is outdated.

Demand for housing

  • In September, the number of house hunters registered at estate agents rose to the highest level seen since March this year, with 394 on average per branch
  • This number was up from 343 in August and 347 in July.

House hunters

Figure 1: Number of house hunters registered per branch from September 2016-2017

Supply of properties and sales agreed

  • The number of properties available to buy on estate agents’ books increased from 37 in August, to 41 in September – the highest number recorded since March this year.

Sales agreed and the proportion made to first-time buyers (FTBs)

  • Despite the fact that both supply and demand for properties increased in September, the number of sales agreed remained flat, with an average of eight agreed per branch – the same as July and August
  • The proportion of sales made to FTBs was 23 per cent in September, which is also the same as the previous two months.

“The Government’s announcement last weekend that it will consult to reform the home-buying process couldn’t come soon enough, and we welcome it. Our findings show that estate agents agree, and would welcome changes to ensure that the process for buying and selling is brought into the twenty first century. The current prolonged process means that sales are stagnating despite the fact that the supply of housing is up, and there is growing demand. Hopefully we will see activity pick up marginally in the short term, when properties which are being marketed now are taken off the market and pushed through, so buyers can be in before Christmas.”

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward

Chief Executive

Read the full report