First-time buyers shrug off Brexit uncertainty

First-time buyers shrug off Brexit uncertainty

The number of sales to first-time buyers hit their highest level in October. 

First-time purchasers accounted for a third (32 per cent) of all property sales in October, a 9 per cent increase on September and the highest figure since records began in 2000, according to the National Association of Estate Agents' (NAEA) latest Housing Market report. 

The last time sales to first-time buyers were this high was October last year, when they accounted for 31 per cent of sales. 

Demand for housing also rose, while the supply of available housing hit its highest level since March this year.

Estate agents reported an average of 43 properties available per branch, an increase of 7.5 per cent on September and the largest figure seen this year. 

During October the average number of property searchers rose by 32 per cent from 333 to 440 registered per branch - the biggest number seen since February this year when 463 house hunters were on estate agents' books. 

Mark Hayward, the NAEA's managing director, said first time buyers are shrugging off concerns about Brexit. 

“This month’s report paints a positive picture for the UK housing market," he said. "Our findings over the last few months indicated mild uncertainty immediately following Brexit – and last month we even saw sales to FTBs fall. 

"After shrugging off the uncertainty, we have seen an increase in supply and a rise in the number of sales to FTBS this month – proof the market is beginning to bounce back."

Mr Hayward called on the government to tackle the UK's housing shortage. 

“Clearly what we need now though is a clear plan as to how the government is going to tackle the chronic shortage of homes that we are facing," he said. 

"During the Autumn Statement, the chancellor announced a boost to house-building which is a start but sadly nowhere near enough. We have high hopes for the Housing White Paper as this will set the housing strategy and intent for this government going forward.”