The number of sales made to first time buyers has risen for the second month running, to the highest level in six years according to the National Association of Estate Agents.
In October, there was an average of nine sales made per estate agent branch in total and a third of these were to first time buyers. Last month, the group accounted for 29 per cent of all sales, and iback n August just 20 per cent.
“It’s really promising that, for the second month running, the number of sales being made to FTBs has risen. Competitive mortgage products and the increasing pressure of an interest rate rise could be encouraging first steppers to take the plunge, as well as the dwindling supply of rental housing stock - putting pressure on renters to buy” says Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director.
The supply of available housing increased in October, ahead of the Christmas slowdown.
The number of properties available to buy per branch increased by 16 per cent from 37 in September to 43 in October. On the other hand, demand for property dropped slightly from an average 342 house-hunters per branch in September, to 336 in October.
“Those selling their homes are keen to push through sales before Christmas, hence the uplift in properties entering the market. But with the average sale taking between nine and 12 weeks, it’s unlikely transactions will be pushed through before Christmas now. Buyers are holding off until January to kick off the New Year with a house-hunt” says Hayward.
He has reiterated the association’s view that the best long-term solution to the current housing shortage is to build more homes.