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Buyer demand and housing supply rise in January – Propertymark

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  • 24/02/2021
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Buyer demand and housing supply rise in January – Propertymark
Prospective buyers increased by 40 per cent in January along with an uptick in the availability of stock, according to the latest Propertymark Housing Report.

 

There was an average of 487 buyers per estate agent branch compared to 348 in December and annually, this was up 27 per cent from 382. 

The rise in demand coincided with an increase in the average number of 38 properties available per branch, up from 33 in December. Buyer demand still outstripped supply, however, with 13 house hunters for every property. 

The highest number of sales were also agreed for any January since 2007, standing at 10 over the month. Compared to December, this was up from an average of eight. 

More properties sold higher than their asking price too, accounting for nine per cent of sales in comparison to five per cent the month before. 

However, a majority of 62 per cent of properties sold for less than their asking price. 

There was no change in the proportion of properties sold to first-time buyers, which remained at 23 per cent in January. Furthermore, activity from home movers continued to encroach on new homeowners as in relation to last year, sales to first-time buyers decline by six per cent.  

Pressure on all parts of the property market continued to cause delays, evidenced by 26 per cent of transactions taking 17 weeks from the acceptance of an offer to the exchange of contracts. This was the highest proportion of properties recorded by Propertymark taking this long to complete. 

Mark Hayward, chief policy advisor of Propertymark, said: “The number of house hunters hitting the market in January shows the stamp duty cut has continued to encourage buyers. 

“Separately, a record number of transactions are taking nearly four months to complete, however, news today reveals the chancellor is preparing to extend the stamp duty holiday until June. 

 

Stamp duty rethink 

Hayward added: “We have continually lobbied government to rethink these timings and it is good news for the sector given how many sales would have fallen at the final hurdle as we approached the 31 March cliff edge.

“However, extending the holiday until June will create another cliff edge.  

We know from our own research that the majority of estate agents expect to see an increase in the number of failed sales if the stamp duty holiday ends at a cliff edge so we need government to consider a tapered end to the holiday so that buyers aren’t forced to pull out at the last minute and the property market can continue to thrive,” he said. 

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