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Market has strengthened over last year, agents say

Market has strengthened over last year, agents say

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 06/08/2009
First Published: 06/08/2009

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The property sector has entered the summer months in a far healthier state than 12 months ago, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has said.

Traditionally, July represents one of the quieter times of the year in the mortgage market, with activity low compared with previous months.

However, when compared with conditions 12 months ago, the market appears to be performing robustly, with an average of nine properties sold by agents in July a particular positive.

While this is a slight drop from the average of ten that has been recorded over the previous three months, it still represents more properties sold per branch than in any month during 2008.

The number of house hunters registered with agents increased during the month, albeit by just two, taking the total from 290 to 292. It is welcome upturn following a slight decline in June, providing further evidence that the increase in demand will be sustained.

A lack of housing stock has been a hot topic in recent months, with continued claims that too little stock will mean any real recovery will be staggered. Figures from the NAEA illustrate the problem, with the average number of properties on the books of agents falling from 64 in June to 59 last month.

The proportion of first time buyers snapping up homes also fell during the month, decreasing from 26 per cent to 22 per cent, although it is a marked increase on the 11 per cent reported in July 2008.

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