Supply and demand both hit six-month high but sales ‘stagnating’, says NAEA

The number of properties and buyers on agency books hit a six-month high in September, NAEA Propertymark figures show.

The trade body’s latest Housing Report shows there were an average of 394 house hunters and 41 properties per member branch during September.

However, despite both supply and demand for properties increasing, the number of sales agreed remained flat, with an average of eight per branch – the same as July and August.

The proportion of sales made to first-time buyers was 23% in September, which is also the same as the previous two months.

The report claims that in regard to the Government’s recently launched call for evidence into the home-buying process, 79% agree that the current methods are outdated.

NAEA Propertymark declined to disclose how many actual members participated in the survey, with a spokesman only saying that respondents represented 1,711 estate agent branches.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “The Government’s announcement that it will consult to reform the home-buying process couldn’t come soon enough, and we welcome it.

“Our findings show that estate agents agree, and would welcome changes to ensure the process for buying and selling is brought into the 21st century.

“The current prolonged process means sales are stagnating despite the fact that the supply of housing is up, and there is growing demand.

“Hopefully we will see activity pick up marginally in the short term, when properties which are being marketed now are taken off the market and pushed through, so buyers can be in before Christmas.”

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