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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

More positive market news as agents report annual rise in sales

The housing market appears to have ended 2019 on a positive note according to the National Association for Estate Agents.

Its latest market snapshot shows that in December the number of sales agreed per member branch fell, as is usually the case at Christmas, from seven in November to six.

But year-on-year however, the number of sales agreed has increased, from five sales agreed in both December 2017 and December 2018 to six last month.

Likewise the number of sales made to first time buyers increased marginally in December, rising from 28 per cent in November to 29 per cent.

Year-on-year, this is an increase of five per cent from December 2018 when the number of sales made to the group stood at 24 per cent.

Meanwhile the number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch decreased in December, falling from 332 to 313 - this is the lowest figure seen since June 2019 when there were 305 prospective buyers registered.

But again the annual figure is more optimistic: year-on-year, housing demand is up, rising from 304 house hunters per branch in December 2018.

The number of properties available per member branch rose from 39 in November, to 41 in December. This is the highest seen since August 2019 when it stood at 44.

Year-on-year, the supply of housing is down marginally, falling from 42 in December 2018.

“After a period of suppressed market activity due to Brexit and political uncertainty, the clear outcome of the General Election in December has injected some much-needed confidence into the market” explains Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark.

“Despite it typically being a quieter time of year seasonally, our figures have shown positive trends with both demand and the number of sales being high in comparison to previous years, as both buyers and sellers no longer hold off on their plans. This is an encouraging close to the year and we hope to see more of this stability in 2020.”

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