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Summer slump sees property supply sink to new low

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This summer saw the seasonal housing slump arrive with a vengeance, as the supply of homes available to buy in July was at the lowest level recorded for that month in 15 years.

This is according to the July Housing Report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), which found the average number of properties available to buy on estate agents’ books dropped from 37 in June to 35 in July.

Seasonality also affected house hunters, as the number of people looking for properties fell 10% from 384 for each branch in June, compared with 347 in July. This is the lowest it has been since November 2016 when 344 potential buyers were registered for each branch. However, this is a considerable increase from July 2016, when just 298 were recorded.

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, said: “It is natural for the market to dip in the summer and then recover. We usually see a subdued July and August, and then a boom in September with an influx of new properties coming onto the market, it remains to be seen whether this year is typical. We’d also expect to see the number of house hunters increase, as buyers strive to complete sales before the winter kicks in.”

Sales agreed also fell to eight for each estate agent branch, down from 11 in June, while the proportion of sales made to first-time buyers fell to 23% in July, from 30% in June. This is the lowest level seen since last September when the rate was also 23%.

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