Propertymark say Buyer demand and housing supply rise in January

According to the latest Propertymark Housing Report, soon-to-be buyers increased by 40% in January along with an uptick in the availability of stock.

An average of 487 buyers per estate agent branch compared to 348 in December and annually was recorded, this was a rise by 27% from 382. 

Rise in demand corresponded with an increase in the average number of 38 properties available per branch, up from 33 in December. Buyer demand still exceed supply, however, with 13 house hunters for every property. 

Since January 2007 this has been the highest number of sales, standing at 10 over the month. Compared to December, this was up from an average of eight. 

A lot more properties sold higher than the original asking price too, accounting for 9% of sales in comparison to 5% the month before. 

However, a majority of 62% of properties sold for less than their asking price. 

No change was recorded in the proportion of properties sold to first-time buyers, which remained at 23% in January. Furthermore, activity from home movers continued to encroach on new homeowners as in relation to last year, sales to first-time buyers decline by six per cent.  

Pressure on all parts of the property market continued to cause delays, evidenced by 26% of transactions taking 17 weeks from the acceptance of an offer to the exchange of contracts. This was the highest proportion of properties recorded by Propertymark taking this long to complete. 

Mark Hayward, chief policy advisor of Propertymark, said: “The number of house hunters hitting the market in January shows the stamp duty cut has continued to encourage buyers. 

“Separately, a record number of transactions are taking nearly four months to complete, however, news today reveals the chancellor is preparing to extend the stamp duty holiday until June. 

 

Stamp duty rethink 

Hayward added: “We have continually lobbied government to rethink these timings and it is good news for the sector given how many sales would have fallen at the final hurdle as we approached the 31 March cliff edge.

“However, extending the holiday until June will create another cliff edge.  

We know from our own research that the majority of estate agents expect to see an increase in the number of failed sales if the stamp duty holiday ends at a cliff edge so we need government to consider a tapered end to the holiday so that buyers aren’t forced to pull out at the last minute and the property market can continue to thrive,” he said.