FTB sales hit record highs in October, says NAEA

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The National Association of Estate Agents has said the number of first-time buyers purchasing homes was at record highs in October.

Figures from the association show that a third (32 per cent) of sales in October were made to FTBs, a 9 per cent rise on September and the highest number since NAEA record began in the year 2000.

The average number of properties available per member branch in October was 43, an increase of 7.5 per cent on September and the highest level recorded since March.

NAEA managing director Mark Hayward says: “This month’s report paints a positive picture for the UK housing market.

“Our findings over the last few months indicated mild uncertainty immediately following Brexit – and last month we even saw sales to FTBs fall. After shrugging off the uncertainty, we have seen an increase in supply and a rise in the number of sales to FTBS this month – proof the market is beginning to bounce back.

“Clearly what we need now though is a clear plan as to how the Government is going to tackle the chronic shortage of homes that we are facing. During the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced a boost to house-building which is a start but sadly nowhere near enough. We have high hopes for the Housing White Paper as this will set the housing strategy and intent for this Government going forward.”

In October, the average number of house hunters increased by a third (32 per cent) from 333 to 440 registered per member branch, according to the NAEA. This is the highest level recorded since February this year, when there were 463 prospective buyers on estate agents’ books.