Demand from home buyers in the UK fell in August and the supply of properties for sale increased marginally, according to the latest data from estate agents.
The number of house hunters registered at estate agents dropped to a 12 month low, with 343 per branch on average in August, the monthly report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) shows.
This was down from 347 in July and 284 in June and was at its lowest since August 2016 when estate agents has 287 house hunters registered per branch.
The number of properties available to buy on estate agents’ books increased marginally from 35 in July, to 37 in August.
The sales also shows that the proportion of sales made to first time buyers remained at 23%nt in August, having fallen from 30% and as expected during the summer, the number of sales agreed per branch also remained low in August, with eight on average per branch.
‘House hunters tend to put their plans on hold over the summer months while they prioritise holidays, and as a result of this trend, stock is usually lower,’ said Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive.
‘However, while we saw the number of properties available increase very marginally last month, it wasn’t remotely enough to start to close the gap between supply and demand,’ he pointed out.
‘We shouldn’t take August’s decline as a sign of things to come. We’ll see the market bounce back in September and ramp up towards the end of the year as house buyers desperately try to complete transactions before Christmas,’ he added.