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Five house hunters per property

Five house hunters per property

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 06/11/2009
First Published: 06/11/2009

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
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Demand is far outweighing supply in the UK housing market, with five house hunters for every available property.

Figures from the National Association of Estate Agents' (NAEA) monthly market survey have revealed that the number of house hunters on the books of its members averaged 287 in October.

The figures suggest a strengthening market compared to 12 months ago, when an average of just 196 house hunters were recorded at each branch.

However, the number of properties available for sale at each NAEA branch totalled an average of just 57.

The NAEA said that there is likely to be a backlog of buyers still waiting to sell their homes once they have purchased a new property, and that the Government should scrap home information packs, as they are proving to be a significant disincentive to sellers considering a move.

The president of the NAEA has also called for the stamp duty holiday to be extended.

"There is strong demand for property and more optimism in the housing market than we have seen for months. This is good news for the recovery of the market and for the UK economy in general," said Gary Smith

"Many buyers are at the very beginning of the house buying process and this is creating a lack of properties in the short term. It is now up to the Government and the banks to do more to keep the momentum of market recovery going.

"A good place to start would be for the government to extend the stamp duty holiday, which mainly affects first time buyers, and is currently scheduled to end in December."

Despite the large numbers of consumers looking to buy, the number of sales agreed by members declined from nine in September to eight in October.

The increasing demand for property is likely being driven because buyers are keen to complete sales before the stamp duty holiday expires in the new year. The rise in house hunter numbers is also pushing up property prices, while the gap between asking and selling prices decreased from 10.9 per cent to 8.75 per cent in October.

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