News: Demand for UK homes at 11-year high, says NAEA

Wed, 29 Jul 15

Demand for property in the UK is at an 11-year high, according to agents, as supply levels continue to fall.

439 house hunters were registered per branch in June 2015, according to the National Association of Estate Agents, a monthly surge of 15 per cent from May 2015 and the highest recorded since August 2004, when 582 were registered.

Despite this massive jump in demand, though, supply of housing stock fell marginally from May, to just 44 houses available per branch (compared to 46 in May), widening the growing gap between supply and demand.

"What we’re seeing is a market that lulled over the General Election period, coming back to life in full force. Buyers are feeling more confident and those who put their plans on hold over the Election and political aftermath have kicked off their hunt, causing this massive jump in demand," comments Mark Hayward, managing director. "There’s also an impetus to buy right now in light of the impending interest rate rise as buyers fight to buy and fix mortgage rates. But the fact that demand is at an eleven year high without the housing stock to fuel it, is bad news for the market."

Indeed, the government has just announced a revamped All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing and Planning to help drive building of new properties to address to the national "housing emergency". The imbalance between rising demand and a shortfall in stock, meanwhile, has pushed house prices in England and Wales to a new record high, according to the Land Registry.

Despite being priced out of the market, though, first time buyers are not being discouraged: activity among first time buyers remained consistent, according to NAEA, with nine sales made on average per branch for the second month running, but the number of sales made to first time buyers declined in June, with the group accounting for just 24 per cent of sales, compared to 29 per cent in May.

See also: Home Asking Price Index

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