Supply of homes for sale in the UK falls to lowest for July since 2002

The supply of homes available to buy in the UK in July was at the lowest level recorded for the month since 2002 while demand also increased.

Overall the number of properties available to buy on estate agents’ book dropped from 37 to 35 in July, according to the latest monthly survey report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

The data also shows that the proportion of sales made to first time buyers fell 30% in June to 23% in July, the lowest level seen since last September when the rate was also 23%. The last time it was lower was in November 2015 when 21% of sales were made to first time buyers.

Typical of this time of year, the number of sales agreed per branch fell in July. In June there were 11 sales agreed per branch, compared to just eight in July.

Seasonality hit house hunters, as the number of people looking for properties fell 10% from 384 per branch in June, compared to 347 in July, the lowest it has been since November 2016 when 344 potential buyers were registered per branch, however a considerable increase from July 2016, when just 298 were recorded.

Only 3% of properties were sold above asking price in July, an increase of 1% from June and the number of homes which sold for less than asking price rose to 80% in July, up to the highest level since December 2016.

‘It is natural for the market to dip in the summer and then recover. We usually see a subdued July and August, and then a boom in September with an influx of new properties coming onto the market, it remains to be seen whether this year is typical,’ said Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive.

‘We’d also expect to see the number of house hunter increase, as buyers strive to complete sales before the winter kicks in,’ he added.

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