UK housing market report for February 2012
- Average number of house-hunters registered per branch increased
from an average of 260 in January to 293 in February.
- Number of sales agreed per branch increased from an average of
6 in January to 7 in February.
- Average number of properties available for sale per branch
increased from 60 in January to 63 in February.
- Percentage of First Time Buyers (FTBs) remained the same
with 23 per cent recorded in January and February
In February, the UK housing market showed improvements across
supply, demand and sales with FTB levels remaining stable as the
FTB Stamp Duty Holiday neared its end.
Demand for property returned close to levels recorded in
December 2011 with 293 house-hunters registering with an NAEA
agent, compared with 260 in January. This compares favourably with
year on-year figures, when in February 2011 just 268 people signed
up with a member agent.
The increase in house-hunter activity impacted positively on the
number of sales made at NAEA branches throughout the country,
rising for a second consecutive month. An average of 7 sales was
recorded in February compared with 6 in January, which member
agents anecdotally attribute to more realistic pricing by
The NAEA believes the 'slab' structure of Stamp Duty is unfair
for homeowners and that it discourages house-hunters from making a
purchase on a property. As such, it's possible that the rise in
Stamp Duty land tax to 7 per cent for properties over £2 million,
announced in the Chancellor's recent Budget, may cause a slight
weakening in sales throughout 2012.
The level of available housing stock also rose during February
with the number of sellers placing their homes on the market moving
from an average of 60 per branch to 63. However, this is
considerably lower than the 70 recorded a year ago.
Encouragingly, the FTB market held at 23 per cent of overall
sales during February, consistent with January. NAEA agents report
that house-hunters searching for their first property continued to
make the most of the Stamp Duty Holiday for FTBs on homes priced
under £250,000. The fact that this important tax exemption has now
come to an end creates another obstacle for homeownership in this
important part of the market.
You can view the full market report by clicking here.