UK Sales Hit Ten Year High

Buyer Confidence Increase Whilst First Time Buyers Decrease

Recent data has revealed that the amount of sales in the UK has hit a ten year high, despite a dip in the number of first time buyer sales. The research was conducted by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and showed that each of their member estate agents was averaging eleven sales per branch in February. That beats a record set back in September 2007 when the NAEA's members recorded an average of ten sales in a month.

Buyer Confidence Increasing, Say NAEA

The record breaking boost in house sales appears to be down to a significant increase in buyer confidence combined with an un-ambitious price-setting strategy by the sellers. Many of the houses in February were sold at below the original asking price, indicating sellers were happy to make the sale despite not always getting quite as much as they had originally hoped. Part of that pragmatic attitude could be a result of the current Brexit situation, with the uncertainty it causes inspiring people to get business done as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

The ten-year record also continues an upward trend which the NAEA believes helps prove that buyer confidence is steadily increasing. In the preceding January, their member estate agents averaged eight sales per branch, with that figure having risen from an average of six in December of 2016. Jumping two averages sales and then three is a good indicator that the UK housing market is prospering despite the uncertainty caused by the triggering of Article 50 and the unknown future yet to be determined by the negotiations with the European Union.

First Time Buyers Decreasing Despite Sales Increase

One less than positive aspect of the NAEA's recent survey is the proportion of monthly sales conducted by first time buyers. It had been 30% of monthly sales in January of this year, but that number fell to 22% in February. This is likely because of the increase in property prices for first time buyers, but it is not a situation that is likely to continue for much longer if the government makes good on its promise to provide more and more affordable new housing.

The NAEA also note that the supply of housing is already increasing by itself as their members record more and more properties coming on to the market. In January, the NAEA members recorded 38 properties for sale, but this has since increased to 44 in February. Demand has remained steady, so the increase in supply should instigate another period of positive activity in the housing market in general.

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