Property News

Business as Usual for Sellers, but Buyers put Plans on Hold

Em Morley - February 28, 2019

It’s business as usual for home sellers, but buyers are putting their plans on hold, according to the latest Housing Report from NAEA Propertymark (the National Association of Estate Agents).

The research covers January 2019.

Housing demand

In January, the number of home hunters registered per NAEA Propertymark member estate agent branch fell from an average of 304 in December, to 297. 

Annually, demand has fallen by a fifth (19%), from 367 in January 2018, as buyers hold off on making any decisions, in light of the current political climate.

Property supply

The supply of available homes to buy dropped by 14% in January, from an average of 42 properties per branch in December, to just 36.

On an annual basis, supply is unchanged.

First time buyer sales

First time buyers took advantage of weakened demand in January, as the number of sales made to the group increased for the second consecutive month, from 24% in December to 26%.

This is the highest level recorded since July 2018, when first time buyers completed 30% of sales.

Agreed sales

Following a dip in the number of sales agreed per branch over the last few months, this figure rose in January, from an average of five in December, to seven. 

Year-on-year, the amount of sales agreed per branch was unchanged.

Mark Hayward, the Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, says: “January is usually the time where we’d expect to see house hunters flood the market following the festive lull; however, this didn’t happen last month. It’s normal that, during a period of uncertainty, buyers put their plans on hold and, until there’s further clarity on what Brexit will mean for the market, we expect the level of house buyers to remain stagnant. 

“However, it’s clear that people still want to sell their homes and there are properties available for those looking to move. While first time buyers are taking advantage of this situation, those hoping to secure a property may well find the market is leaning in their favour, as the number of sales agreed per branch return to the level seen at the start of 2018. Although sellers are usually keen to hold off until they secure the right price, when the market is slow, they are typically more willing to negotiate. After all, when demand falls, and supply remains the same, it’s a buyers’ market.”