Last month saw an 11-year low in the number of properties available to buy per estate agent branch, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) August Housing Market Report.
Supply of available housing fell by a third in the last month, with 38 houses available per branch in August, compared to 55 in July. This is the lowest level of supply seen since January 2004, when 38 properties were also available.
August saw a dip in house hunters, with an average of 408 house-hunters registered per member branch, compared to 462 in July – a 12% drop.
The number of sales completed in August rose by one to an average 10 properties per branch in August; however sales made to first time buyers fell to the lowest level since July 2014.
20% of sales were made to first time buyers in August, compared to 23% in July and 24% in June, which the NAWA says indicates movement in the market is taking place higher up the ladder and it’s second and third steppers pushing through sales.
Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director, said: “We’ve been banging the drum about the dwindling supply of housing for a while and this month’s report reiterates what we’ve been saying – there simply aren’t enough houses to match demand and we’re reaching crisis point. There are now 11 house hunters fighting after every available house which isn’t sustainable.
“First time buyers are finding themselves being squeezed out of the competition, which of course means it’s taking young buyers longer to get their foot on the first step of the ladder, which will in turn increase pressure on the rental market.”