Last month marked the lowest March on record for the supply of homes for sale, according to the latest Housing Report from NAEA Propertymark (the National Association of Estate Agents).
Despite a month-on-month increase, the supply of homes for sale hit the lowest level on record for the month of March last month. An average of 37 properties were available to buy last month on NAEA Propertymark member estate agents’ books – a 9% rise from 34 in February.
After demand dropped in February, the number of home hunters registered per branch increased by 17% in March, from an average of 252 to 296.
This is similar to the level seen in January, when 297 prospective buyers were recorded per NAEA Propertymark member estate agent.
Annually, demand was at the lowest level recorded for the month of March since 2013, when 286 home hunters were registered, following a decrease of 4%, from 308 in March 2018. Since March 2017, when 397 potential buyers were registered per branch, demand for housing has fallen by a quarter.
Following an increase in the number of sales made to first time buyers in February, this figure fell from 30% to 26% in March – the same level recorded in March last year.
The number of sales agreed per NAEA Propertymark member branch remained at an average of seven in March – the same level reported for the previous two months. Year-on-year, it was down slightly, from eight in March 2018.
Mark Hayward, the Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, comments: “Despite the fact that activity in the housing market increased in March, the levels of supply and demand recorded aren’t where we would expect them to be at this time of year. It’s clear buyers and sellers are still feeling cautious and holding off on making any decisions in light of the current political climate and economic uncertainty.
“However, recent house price data indicates we might see confidence in the market grow as house prices slowly begin to return to previous levels and we edge closer to the summer months.”