The majority of agents do not see the supply and demand of homes levelling out over the next five years, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
Three quarters of those surveyed by the Association said they envisage a continuation of the current supply demand imbalance, meaning more buyers will be squeezed out of the market.
The NAEA’s Housing Market Report for April also found that the general election didn’t diminish demand among buyers as an average of 344 house hunters registered per NAEA member branch, compared to 343 recorded in March.
Housing supply, however, did decrease from an average of 48 available properties per member branch in March to 43 in April.
The NAEA also calculates that a quarter of sales in April were made to first-time buyers.
Despite this, 93% of agents surveyed said they do not see first-time buyers having substantial cut through in the market between now and 2020.
“Whilst this month’s figures are positive and a step in the right direction, I’d like to think that with the help of 200,000 new starter homes and the Help to Buy ISA, FTBs will be given even more help to get their foot on the ladder; however these things may take time to come to fruition,” says Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director.
Yesterday, the government confirmed that the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has been extended to 2020.
The chancellor said that the government has committed £6 billion of funding to the initiative which applies to new build properties priced up to £600,000.
“Help to Buy has stimulated demand for new homes and led to a sharp rise in private housebuilding. Extending the scheme to 2020 provides certainty of demand that allows home builders to recruit the people and invest in the land and supply chains required to support further sustained increases,” said Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the House Builders Federation.
Since its launch two years ago, a total of 47,018 properties have been purchased under the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, according to government figures.