Sellers' market as demand grows for fewer homes

The property market has swung back firmly in favour of sellers across the country, according to findings within the NAEA Propertymark April Housing Report.

Demand from prospective buyers is seen to have grown by nine per cent in April; on average, estate agents had 337 house-hunters registered per branch, compared to 308 in March, the report reveals.

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This is much lower than last year; in April 2017, the figure stood at 381, 13 per cent higher.

In contrast to this, the supply of homes available to buy fell from 40 in March to 33 on average per branch in April.

Month on month, the number of sales agreed remained the same, with eight per branch in April. However, the percentage made to first-time buyers dipped from 26 per cent in 2017, to 24 per cent.

Year on year, this continues to fall. In April 2017, 25 per cent of sales were made to the group; 26 per cent in 2016 and 2015, and 28 per cent in 2014.

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Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, said: “Last month our findings indicated that we were entering what looked like a buyer’s market, but this month, the dial has swung back in the favour of sellers.

"With demand on the up, and the supply of available homes falling once again, buyers will find themselves facing stiff competition from other house-hunters.

"This is particularly difficult for first-time buyers who traditionally have less bargaining power on price, so will struggle to enter bidding wars with second or third steppers.

"The Government is working to improve the house buying and selling process, which is music to our ears, but until more homes are built and supply catches up with demand, the process will remain difficult.”