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Estate agents see home buyer confidence rebound

Estate agents see home buyer confidence rebound

Home buyer confidence has rebounded to pre-Brexit levels according to the National Association of Estate Agents’ September housing market report.

Demand for properties has picked up but supply has dropped, according to reports from the NAEA’s member branches.

In September, the average number of house hunters registered per member branch increased from 287 in August, to 333.

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Meanwhile 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, which was the highest level seen since March this year.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said: “This month’s report proves that buyer confidence is growing, which is obviously reassuring, given that we expected uncertainty following Brexit.

“Although supply has dropped marginally, this does not concern us as it’s still higher than the levels we saw between April and July.”

Demand for property rose 16 per cent, which takes the number of prospective house buyers recorded up to the levels seen back in June, when estate agents recorded 330 on average per branch.

However sales made to first-time buyers have dropped by five percentage points compared to August.

In September 23 per cent of sales were made to first-time buyers, the lowest level since November 2015 when 21 per cent of sales were made to this group.

Mr Hayward said this development was “worrying”.

He said: “The fact the Government’s Help to Buy housing scheme is due to close this year might pose more of a challenge for those who were relying on this to help get their foot on the property ladder.

“We now look ahead to the Autumn Statement and look forward to seeing what plans the government puts in place to assist first-time buyers towards their goal of homeownership.”

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

Ian Gwinnell, director of Midlands-based All Counties Financial, said: “Certainly in the last 12 months I would say we have had more enquiries come into this office from people outside our normal client bank than in the period from 2008.

“There is some consumer confidence building.”