The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has claimed the housing market is cooling despite reports of record lending levels from several lenders.
Although prices and demand in Coventry, Warwickshire, South Yorkshire and the North West are holding up, on a national basis estate agents have reported a drop in house price increases and a slowdown in the rush to buy, according to the NAEA’s September survey.
Traditionally, autumn is busier than the summer months and there has been an increase of just under 5% in applicant enquiries, with sales up 7%.
However, Hugh Dunsmore Hardy, chief executive of the NAEA, said while the traditional autumn kickstart is evident, but it is not enough to mask the underlying trend, which is towards calmer waters.
‘The proportion of sales to first-time buyers has crept back up over the last two months and now runs at 25%, up from 20% in August. This suggests more realistic pricing may be enabling first-time buyers to step onto the property ladder,’ he said.