The supply of housing available to buy dropped in March 2019, as the number of first-time buyer (FTB) sales picked up, according to the latest Housing Report from NAEA Propertymark, a leading professional body for estate agents.
Demand for housing rose as much as 17 per cent in March according to the new Report, while sales to FTBs increased, hitting a 7-month high in March 2019.
The report also estimated that as many as 81 per cent of properties were being sold for less than their original asking price at the average estate agent branch in March. This compared to just 4 per cent of people who claimed newly-available properties had been sold for more than the original asking price.
The report also indicated that the number of available properties decreased by as much as 8 per cent, falling to a low of 37 available homes per estate agent branch in March.
This came at a time when the report estimated that there were as many as 296 house hunters seeking properties per estate agent branch in the same month, indicating a significant shortfall in supply.
News of housing supply constraints comes as peers in the House of Lords recommend that more needs to be done to increase the supply of affordable housing for young people, as outlined in a report in April.
First-time buyer sales
Propertymark also reported that sales to FTBs fell to 26 per cent as a share of total sales at estate agent branches in March. The previous month, as many as 30 per cent of sales had been FTB-based. Despite this decline, FTB sales sit at a 7-month high, according to Propertymark.
Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, commented: “It’s clear buyers and sellers are still feeling cautious and holding off on making any decisions in light of the current political climate and economic uncertainty.
“However, recent house price data indicates we might see confidence in the market grow as house prices slowly starts to return to previous levels and we edge closer to the summer months,” He concluded.