Mortgages  

Sales to first-time buyers dip 10%: NAEA

Sales to first-time buyers dip 10%: NAEA

Sales to first-time buyers dipped 10 per cent across November 2015, according to data from the National Association of Estate Agents.

The NAEA said supply dipped and demand grew across the month, following a promising period from July to October in which the number of sales made to first-time buyers grew.

However, sales to first-time buyers have now “nose-dived dramatically” said the NAEA and estate agents believe it will only get worse.

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Despite the chancellor George Osborne outlining plans to help first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder during his Autumn Statement at the start of last month, over half - 53 per cent - of NAEA members think those trying to buy their first home will continue to feel squeezed out of the market, due to the lack of affordable housing.

Across November, the number of house-hunters grew by 20 per cent and available stock fell.

The NAEA said in October, there were 336 house-hunters on average registered per branch, increasing to 403 in November.

In November, available housing decreased marginally, from 43 properties managed a branch last month to 41 this month, meaning there are now 10 prospective buyers battling it out for each property.

Mark Hayward, managing director at the National Association of Estate Agents, said: “It is very normal at this time of year that demand is high and supply is low.

“House hunters hoping to find their dream property in the new year have registered interest with agents, while those hoping to sell are holding off putting their properties on the market before January.

“However, supply is outweighing demand so heavily now that it can’t solely be attributed to seasonality.

“It is clear that we’re faced with a crisis here: the housing market needs addressing as a matter of urgency.”

Mr Hayward added the government has made efforts to address the issue of supply and demand, but that action needed to be taken to get bricks and mortar on the ground if the crisis is to be solved.

ruth.gillbe@ft.com