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Buyer Demand for Residential Property Up 13% Annually

Both supply and demand increased in the final month of 2018 but sales agreed continued to decline

An average of 304 house hunters were registered per estate agent member branch in December last year

Residential property supply in the UK picked up towards the end of 2018, according to the latest housing report.

Average stock levels for member branches of NAEA Propertymark increased from 35 in November to 42 in December, representing a 20% uplift in the number of homes available to buy.

It also the highest number for the final month of the year since 2014 and the second highest throughout 2018, beaten only by September’s level of 46 properties per branch.

Demand from buyers likewise grew in December, with each branch registering an average of 304 house hunters in the month, a rise of 8% compared with November and 13% year-on-year.

Sales agreed, meanwhile, declined for a third consecutive month from September’s average of 9 per member branch to just 5 in December.

The proportion of properties sold to first-time buyers saw a modest increase between November and December, from 23% to 24%.

However, on an annual basis, sales to new market entrants were down, as almost a third (32%) of homes were sold to new buyers in December 2017.

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of NAEA, said the findings reflect the resilience of the market despite Brexit concerns, saying:

“This month’s findings prove that despite the current political climate, people still want to move. There is movement in the market with demand from house hunters up 13 per cent year-on-year, and the supply of available properties also rising.

“While many are adopting a ‘wait and see’ strategy until there’s further clarity over what Brexit might mean for the market, there is choice for those who want to buy now, and there are people on the market looking for new homes.”

According to a new survey by Good Move, buyers looking to move to a new location prioritise public transport when researching the local area.

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