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Housing supply hits record low but demand surges

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The supply of housing has hit its lowest level in over a decade but demand for property soared in the first month of 2016.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) January Housing Market report, the supply of housing is at its lowest level in 14 years, with the number of available properties per member branch falling to just 33 in January.

In contrast, the demand for housing soared in January, with an average 453 house hunters registered per branch, the highest recorded since July 2015.

The figures also represent a 21% increase from December, when there were an average of 374 registered and the NAEA believes the rise in activity is from landlords pushing to complete sales ahead of the buy to let surcharge which comes into effect on 1 April.

Just over seven in ten (72%) estate agents reported an increase in interest from landlords – a rise from 44% in December.

First time buyers accounted for almost a third (29%) of the total sales made in January, an increase of 5% from December 2015.

Mark Hayward, managing director of NAEA said: “It continues to be a sellers’ market as demand outstrips supply. The number of sales made to FTBs has increased this month, and we should expect to see their market share rise after April.

“The fact that housing supply has reached a 14 year low really highlights the need for the government to push the house building programme to the very top of their agenda and help more FTBs make their first step on to the housing ladder.”

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