The number of property transactions reached its highest point this year in April, despite a drop in supply and demand, according to a recent report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

The figures of sales agreed per NAEA member branch increased for the first time this year, reaching an average of eight per branch in April. This is the highest figure seen since the same number of sales per branch was recorded in October 2018.

However, year-on-year, the overall number of property transactions remains consistent.

Alan Boswell – MPU

Decline in supply and demand

There was a decline in supply between March and April this year, with the number of properties available per member branch falling from 37 to 35, while year-on-year housing supply increased, according to the report.

NAEA estimated a drop in demand as well, with the number of house hunters per estate agent branch falling by ten per cent from 296 to 265, in April. Year-on-year, demand in April reached the lowest level recorded since 2008, when an average of 237 house hunters were registered per branch.

Housing demand also saw a fall by 21 per cent from April 2018, when there were 337 prospective buyers per branch.

Sales to first-time buyers

There has been a marginal increase in the number of sales made to first-time buyers, rising from 26 per cent in March, to 27 per cent in April, according to NAEA. This makes an increase of three percentage points from 24 per cent, year-on-year.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, commented: “Despite a fall in housing supply and demand, it’s encouraging to see an increase, for the first time this year, in the number of sales going through.

“This means that even though buyers and sellers remain uncertain given the current climate, many are continuing to move forward with their transactions and sales are still happening at the rate we would expect to see at this time of year.”

Mr Hayward added that more than four in five properties are selling for less than the original asking price, providing an opportunity for house buyers and sellers to negotiate an offer to get a sale moving.

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Pia Subramaniam
Pia provides Property Notify readers with her insights into the UK property market, through her reporting on the social impact of various housing policies. She also specialises in covering the relationship between immigration and housing, as well as investigating loopholes in the market and concerns voiced by landlords and tenants.

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