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Housing market shifts in favour of buyers

Property hunters have a better chance of getting their hands on the home they want as the market shifts in favour of the buyer, a national estate agent has claimed.

The number of new homes which came onto the market in July increased by 7.3% annually across the UK while demand for properties dropped by 3%, market analysis from Haart has revealed.

Competition for homes wass still strong in July with 10 buyers chasing every property for sale. But conditions have eased slightly compared to January when there were 14 buyers competing against each other.

Paul Smith, chief executive of Haart, said: “The second half of 2014 marks a shift in favour of buyers as healthy volumes of stock return to the market.

“Many homeowners are adopting a now or never attitude to take advantage of the continuing strength of the market having seen their equity rocket over the last year at a time when mortgage deals with decent loan-to-values are still available.”

As house prices rise homeowners who bought their properties in the run up to the crash have seen their equity recover giving them the deposit they need to move on.

Recent average house price figures are varied. The Halifax House Price Index showed the average home to be worth £186,300 in the three months to July.

Analysis from property services firm LSL claimed the average property price was £270,600 in the month of July compared to Haart’s figure of £204,200 for the same month.

Managing director of the National Association of Estate Agents Mark Hayward said the number of first-time buyers looking for homes had dampened because regulatory conditions had made it tougher for them to get a foothold on the housing ladder.

Hayward said rising prices meant larger deposits and higher stamp duty fees while mortgage affordability assessments demanded more disposable income to support an application.

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