Find UK estate agents at www.naea.co.uk. The housing market report for April 2012.
- Average number of house hunters registered per branch decreased from 297 in March
to 294 in April.
- Average number of sales agreed per branch was unchanged with 7 in March and April.
- Average number of properties available for sale per branch increased from 61 in March
to 62 in April.
- Average percentage of first time buyers (FTBs) was unchanged with 24 per cent in
March and April.
In April, the UK housing market remained static with little movement across supply and demand and no variation recorded in the number of sales made or the number of FTBs.
Demand for property reduced slightly last month with an average of 294 house hunters registering with an NAEA member agent compared with 297 in March. This does, however, compare favourably to figures recorded in April 2011, when an average of just 277 house hunters was recorded per branch. Reports from agents suggest a mixed picture of activity. Agents in some areas of the country experienced a quiet Easter break; a time when agents traditionally see a spike in activity. Conversely, other agents reported anecdotally that the longer evenings resulting from the shift to British Summer Time helped to boost levels of buyer interest.
Encouragingly, the drop in the number of house hunters does not appear to have affected the level of sales made at NAEA branches throughout the UK. Agents recorded an average 7 sales per branch for a third consecutive month although this is lower than figures recorded in April 2011, when an average 8 sales were made.
Supply levels increased slightly in April, with an average 62 properties available per branch compared with 61 per branch in March. Despite the slight rise, this figure is substantially lower than data recorded in April 2011 when an average 69 properties were available. NAEA agents continue to report caution amongst vendors stemming from uncertainty about the future of the UK economy, and other European economies.
The proportion of sales made to the FTB market remained at 24 per cent for a second consecutive month. The end of the FTB Stamp Duty Holiday on properties priced at £250,000 and below does not appear to have had an immediate impact on sales to first time buyers. However, it is widely expected that mortgage lending to this portion of the market, and in turn sales, will begin to decrease in the coming months as the Government's decision to re-introduce Stamp Duty begins to hit FTBs. It remains to be seen what impact the publication of recent reports such as the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee report on Financing of New Housing Supply will have on this important part of the market. However, policy solutions for solving the current housing shortage will take time to implement. Given the limited remit of the Government's current Newbuy scheme - which is limited to new homes - the outlook is less than positive.
Find properties for sale at www.PropertyLive.co.uk.