The latest market snapshot from the National Association of Estate Agents suggests that the proportion of sales made to first time buyers has dropped further, to 22 per cent.
The figure, which applies to October’s sales figures drawn from a survey of NAEA Propertymark member agents, was down one per cent from September. The survey of course applies to the market prior to the scrapping of most stamp duty for first time buyers announced in last week’s Budget.
The association also says the overall number of sales agreed per branch has not picked up from the quiet summer month, remaining stagnant at eight on average per branch since July.
Despite having a significant increase in September, the number of house hunters registered at estate agents dropped 11 per cent from 394 to 349 per branch on average in October.
Meanwhile the number of properties available to buy on agents’ books increased marginally from 41 in September, to 42 in October.
The number of properties that sold for more than the asking price rose for the first time since July, but to merely four per cent
The number of homes which sold for less than asking price dropped to 78 per cent last month – down four percentage points from September.
“Following the announcement of the abolishment of stamp duty for first-time buyers ... we hope to see more first-time buyers coming to the market and making their dream a reality. We do however need to realise that if we don’t have the supply to meet the increased demand from FTBs it’s likely we’ll see house prices increase” says Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark.