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Unsustainable! Agents’ chief speaks out about lack of supply

The chief executive of Propertymark says the number of homes on sale has fallen to an average of just 21 per branch.

“Figures from October show a continuing picture for the housing market which is unsustainable. Estate agents across the country are working with some of the lowest levels of available homes we have ever seen yet demand from buyers is not easing” says Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark.

He describes the number of buyers entering the market now as “relentless.”


“Heading into the festive period should take some of the heat out of the market as we know that usual market trends see a decrease in activity as people turn their attention to Christmas.”

His association’s figures, taken from last month, show that the average of 21 properties on sale per branch is the lowest on record and 46 per cent lower than the same time in 2020.

The number of buyers registered per branch continues to climb standing at 511 in October, a 12 per cent increase from September - yet average sales decreased to just eight per branch, a 32 per cent fall from September but in line with pre-pandemic levels.

The number of sales made to first time buyers remained steady at 25 per cent, falling slightly from 28 per cent in September, while the number of buy to let sales increased from nine per cent in September to 13 per cent in October.

Last month some 55 per cent of properties agreed sales at the original asking price, but for the second month on the trot the number of sales being agreed at over asking price has fallen. Properties agreeing sales at over the asking price has dropped to 21 per cent in October from 27 per cent in September.


Emerson continues: “With so many buyers still hungry for their new home, sellers would do well not to put moving plans on hold for too long. What we need to see in the new year is a gentle levelling out, which could be driven by new year motivations delivering new sellers or changing interest rates taking some of the mounting energy from buyers.”


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