Housing supply increased by 25% in July, according to the latest report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
The number of available properties per NAEA member branch reached 55 in July, 25% higher than the 44 recorded in June and the highest since September 2013.
The report indicates that the average number of sales made per agency branch in July remained at nine, the same figure recorded in May and June.
After a record high in June, demand continued to increase last month, with the number of house-hunters registered with the average NAEA member branch rising to 463 from 439 the month before.
This is the highest level of demand recorded since August 2004, when an average of 582 house-hunters was recorded per NAEA branch.
Sales to first-time buyers continued to fall last month, with the group accounting for just 23% of sales. The highest figure in recent months was recorded in May when 29% of sales were made to first-time buyers.
“Typically, we’d expect to see sales taking longer to complete during the summer months, as buyers and sellers are on holiday,” says Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director.
“It is alarming however, that the number of sales being made to first time buyers is steadily falling. Having said that, the fact that there is more housing coming on to the market means that hopefully over the next few months we’ll see activity in the market increasing and more sales completing, to respond to the growing army of house hunters we’ve seen emerging over the last few months.”
Hayward reiterates the argument that there are simply not enough homes to meet growing demand.
“Until we see more physical bricks and mortar, there may be no hope in solving the housing crisis,” he says.