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House-hunters at four year high

House-hunters at four year high

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 28/10/2011
First Published: 28/10/2011

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

House-hunters are back pounding the streets after it was revealed demand for UK property reached its highest level in over four years in September.

Enquiries from people looking to buy a new home rose for the second consecutive month last month, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

As a result, the average estate agent now has 308 people registered as looking for homes, the highest number seen since September 2007.

At the same time, the number of houses available for sale also increased from 65 per branch to 72 across August and September, its highest level for three months.

"Despite wider economic concerns in the European financial markets, this data indicates that UK sellers believe they will be able to secure a sale for their property, if reasonably priced," said the NAEA.

Meanwhile, first time buyers also enjoyed a slightly larger share of the overall sales market, accounting for almost a quarter (22%) of sales in September.

However, estate agents also reported that a lot of regional variation exists in the number of first time buyers getting onto the housing ladder.

Overall, the number of house sales remained unchanged compared with August, with an average of eight made per agency branch.

"It is encouraging to see that the number of enquiries is increasing, but sellers need to be very realistic when pricing their property in order to secure a sale in what is still a very cautious market," said Wendy Evans-Scott, president of the NAEA.

"The number of first time buyers on the market has increased slightly over the course of the month although our agents are reporting widespread regional variation.

"Lending still remains a real barrier to homeownership for this part of the market."

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