Now that the uncertainty of the general election has been put behind us, more and more people are clamouring for a new home, with May witnessing the highest year-on-year demand for 10 years.
Figures from the May Housing Market Report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) revealed that May saw an average of 383 house hunters registered per branch, up from 344 in April. This is the highest number recorded since September 2014, when 406 house hunters were registered, and is the highest annual increase seen since May 2005, when a total of 386 house hunters were recorded per branch.
Housing supply also increased slightly in May: 46 houses were up for sale by NAEA member branches, a marginal increase from the 43 properties that were on sale in April. However, supply is still a major issue, with the number of properties available almost halving year-on-year over the last 10 years (down from 81 properties).
This supply issue means that the increase in housing demand is putting yet more pressure on the housing market, which could negatively impact those hoping to get onto the property ladder in the near future.
Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, explains: "There's been a significant jump in the number of house hunters searching for properties this month, [but] supply does not meet the rise in demand. As consumer confidence grows, we will continue to see a widening of the property gap. The housing shortage will not be solved any time soon, so as pressure mounts, we will no doubt see increases in house prices, making it harder for those stepping on or up the ladder."
If you had been hoping to make that leap on or up the housing ladder sometime soon, then it's time to get prepared and take the plunge before prices rise beyond your reach.
The first thing you need to do is to save up a decent deposit. This will put you on the best footing for securing a mortgage and bagging that dream home. A regular saver may be a great option, as it will encourage you to put aside a sum every month and the rates on offer can be better than those paid by a general easy access deal.
Once you have your deposit ready, it's time to look for the perfect mortgage. Having an offer in principle will make you look like a better deal to sellers and estate agents, so start your research now! You can take a look at our mortgage best buys to kick-start your search, and if you're a first-time buyer, we have gathered together all the best deals on the market for you.
So, if you think you're ready to buy your first home or move up the ladder, there's no time to waste! Get your preparations right and start scouring the market, and you could soon be moving into that dream home.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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