Housing Report, March 2019


Key Findings

  • Demand for housing fell to a six-year low
  • Sales to first-time buyers (FTBs) hit a seven-month high

Supply of available properties

  • Despite a month-on-month increase, housing supply hit the lowest level on record for the month of March
  • An average of 37 properties were available to buy last month, a nine per cent increase from 34 in February.  

Sales agreed

Figure 1: Supply of available properties per branch in March since 2013

Demand for housing

  • After demand dipped in February, the number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch rose by 17 per cent in March, from 252 to 296
  • This is similar a level to January when 297 prospective buyers were recorded per estate agent branch
  • Year-on-year, demand was the lowest level recorded for the month of March since 2013 when 286 house hunters were registered. Housing demand has also fallen by four per cent from 308 in March 2018, and a quarter (25 per cent) from March 2017 when there were 397 prospective buyers registered per branch.

Sales to FTBs

  • After an increase in the number of sales made to FTBs in February, this figure fell from 30 per cent to 26 per cent in March – the same level as recorded last March.

Sales agreed

  • The number of sales agreed per member branch remained at seven in March, the same level reported for the previous two months. Year-on-year, it was down slightly from eight in March 2018.

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward

Chief Executive

“Despite the fact that activity in the housing market increased in March, the levels of supply and demand recorded aren’t where we would expect them to be at this time of year. It’s clear buyers and sellers are still feeling cautious and holding off on making any decisions in light of the current political climate and economic uncertainty. However, recent house price data indicates we might see confidence in the market grow as house prices slowly begin to return to previous levels and we edge closer to the summer months.”