16% rise in buyer registrations but first time buyers drop

The average number of house hunters registered at each branch of the National Association of Estate Agents rose to 333 from 287 a month earlier.

This is a rise of 16 per cent and takes the number of prospective house buyers recorded up to the levels seen back in June – prior to the EU referendum – when estate agents recorded 330 on average per branch.

In September, 23 per cent of sales were made to first time buyers, a five per cent drop on August and the lowest level seen since November last year when 21 per cent of sales were made to first timers.

Some 12 per cent of agents say they have seen sales to first time buyers stall since Brexit; 41 per cent say they have seen no change.

The number of houses available to buy decreased marginally in September, to 40 per branch. This is a decline from 41 properties per branch recorded in August.

The number of sales agreed rose by 12.5 per cent in September to an average of nine per branch.

“Although supply has dropped marginally, this does not concern us as it’s still higher than the levels we saw between April and July. However, it is worrying that the number of sales being made to FTBs has fallen to the lowest number in 10 months” says NAEA managing director Mark Hayward.

Meanwhile Haart claims that there is a ‘reverse ripple’ effect going on as a result of Brexit.

“Following the vote, the number of UK residential transactions dropped from over 60,000 in June to less than 30,000 in August, falling by over 50 per cent. London has borne the brunt of the damage since, with prices falling a further 0.7 per cent on the month in September and transactions down by 7.4 per cent during the same period” says the agency’s chief executive, Paul Smith.

“Inner London, traditionally the key driver of national house price growth, is in decline, and some branch agents believe at the current rate London could be the last place in Britain to recover from Brexit” he admits.

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Written by: Houseladder