Stock levels for estate agents at the height of summer were their lowest for at least 15 years according to the National Association of Estate Agents.
The number of properties available to buy on member agents’ books dropped from 37 in June to 35 in July according to figures just released - this is the lowest level recorded for the month of July since the association’s records began in 2002.
The proportion of sales made to first time buyers fell from 30 per cent in June to 23 per cent in July - the lowest level seen since last September.
Typical of this time of year, the number of sales agreed per branch fell in July. In June there were 11 sales agreed per branch, compared to just eight last month.
Seasonal factors also hit house hunters, as the number of people looking for properties fell 10 per cent from 384 per branch in June to 347 in July.
Only three per cent of properties were sold above asking price in July, an increase of one percentage point on June; however, the number of homes which sold for less than asking price rose to 80 per cent last month – up from one per cent in June and the highest level since December 2016.
“It is natural for the market to dip in the summer and then recover. We usually see a subdued July and August, and then a boom in September with an influx of new properties coming onto the market, it remains to be seen whether this year is typical. We’d also expect to see the number of house hunter increase, as buyers strive to complete sales before the winter kicks in” explains Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark.