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First-time Buyer

Ten buyers for each property on the market

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

It’s good news for home sellers. There are now 10 prospective buyers battling it out for each property on the market, according to figures.

The National Association of Estate Agents’s (NAEA) November Housing Market Report found the number of house-hunters grew by 20% but available stock fell.

There were 403 house-hunters registered per branch in November, up from 336 in October. Available housing, however, decreased marginally to 41 in November from 43 in October.

While overall sales dropped, sales to first-time buyers “nose-dived dramatically”, falling by 10% in November after a promising period from July to October in which the number of sales made to this demographic grew.

Estate agents believe the situation for first-time buyers will only get worse.

The Chancellor outlined plans to help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder during his Autumn Statement, including the Help to Buy ISA, but over half (53%) of NAEA members think the group will continue to feel squeezed out of the market, due to the lack of affordable housing.

NAEA managing director Mark Hayward said: “It’s very normal at this time of year that demand is high and supply is low. House hunters hoping to find their dream property in the New Year have registered interest with agents, whilst those hoping to sell are holding off putting their properties on the market before January. However, supply is outweighing demand so heavily now that it can’t solely be attributed to seasonality.

“It’s clear that we’re faced with a crisis here: the housing market needs addressing as a matter of urgency. Our recent Housing 2025 report2 compiled with Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) found that by 2025, house prices are set to rise by 50% – and if we don’t act now, this will impact FTBs, second steppers and last steppers, forcing many out of home ownership.

“The Government has made efforts to address the issue of supply and demand, with Osborne outlining plans to build 200,000 new starter homes in his Autumn Statement, but four fifths of our agents think it simply isn’t enough. It’s all very well planning to build houses, but we need to move to action and get and the bricks and mortar on the ground, if we’re to solve the crisis we’re faced with.”