The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has revealed that housing supply dipped and demand grew, as number of sales made to first time buyers fell in November.
Its November Housing Market Report stated that despite the period from July to October in which the number of sales made to FTBs grew, in November, the percentage of sales made to the group fell by 10%.
Sales as a whole are down by 1%, which the NAEA says is typical of this time of year; however, sales to first-time buyers have nose-dived dramatically and estate agents believe it will only get worse – 53% of NAEA members think first-time buyers will continue to feel squeezed out of the market, due to the lack of affordable housing.
The number of house-hunters grew by 20% and available stock fell. In October, there were 336 house-hunters on average registered per branch, rising to 403 in November. Available housing decreased marginally in November, from 43 properties managed per branch last month, to 41 this month – meaning there are now 10 prospective buyers battling it out for each property.
Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director, 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 report 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.”