Housing Report, October 2020

Housing demand reaches highest level on record for October

Key Findings:

  • The number of prospective buyers reached the highest ever recorded for the month of October
  • An average of 12 sales were agreed per branch, the highest figure recorded for October since 2006
  • The number of sales to first-time buyers (FTBs) rose to 21 per cent from 19 per cent in September

Demand for housing

  • In October, the average number of prospective buyers registered per estate agent branch reached 451, a fall from 525 in September.
  • However, this is the highest number on record for the month of October, and an increase of almost a third (32 per cent) from October 2019 when there were 341 house hunters on average per branch.

Sales agreed

  • The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch stood at 12 in October, a small decrease from 14 in September. This is the highest figure recorded for October since 2006.
  • Year-on-year, the number of sales per branch has increased by 50 per cent, rising from eight in October 2018 and October 2019.

Sales to FTBs

  • The number of sales made to FTBs stood at 21 per cent in October, rising from 19 per cent in September.
  • Year on year this is a fall of six percentage points from October 2019.

Supply of available properties

  • The number of properties available per member branch stood at 39 in October, falling marginally from 41 in September.

What properties sold for

  • In October, seven per cent of properties sold for more than the original asking price.
  • This is a marginal fall from September when eight per cent of properties sold for more than the original asking price.
  • The majority (58 per cent) of properties sold for less than the original asking price in October.

Quote mark

Typically, we see the property market slow down as we approach the festive period and people put their sale on hold until the New Year. However, the pressure of completing sales ahead of the Stamp Duty holiday ending means that we have seen the number of potential buyers and the number of sales completed remain unusually high for this time of year.

This boom has been hugely beneficial for the housing market; however, we are increasingly concerned about the impact of the stamp duty cliff edge on 31st March 2021. This cliff edge has already increased pressure on service providers within the industry, causing delays for buyers and sellers, and could cause thousands of sales to fall through at the final hurdle as buyers realise their sale will not be completed ahead of the deadline.

mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
Chief Executive
NAEA Propertymark