House hunter levels on the rise as FTB sales fall, says NAEA

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The number of house hunters registered with NAEA members in September reached the highest levels since June of 2015, a new survey has found.

There were 333 registration with member branches in September, the study shows, up from 287 in August and the highest number since the 330 average per branch seen in June last year.

However, the study found that the number of sales made to FTBs stood at 23 per cent in September, a drop of 5 per cent compared with August and the lowest level since November 2015.

The number of houses available to buy decreased marginally in September, to 40 per branch, a decline from 41 properties per branch recorded in August, which was the highest level seen since March this year.

The number of sales agreed rose by 12.5 per cent in September to an average of nine per branch.

National Association of Estate Agents managing director Mark Hayward says: “This month’s report proves that buyer confidence is growing, which is obviously reassuring, given that we expected uncertainty following Brexit.

“Although supply has dropped marginally, this does not concern us as it’s still higher than the levels we saw between April and July. However, it is worrying that the number of sales being made to FTBs has fallen to the lowest number in 10 months.

“The fact the Government’s Help to Buy housing scheme is due to close this year might pose more of a challenge for those who were relying on this to help get their foot on the property ladder. We now look ahead to the Autumn Statement and look forward to seeing what plans the Government puts in place to assist FTBs towards their goal of homeownership.”