2018 began with a housing market boom according to new research from NAEA Propertymark, with demand from prospective property investors up by a third.
Demand from potential buyers rose by 37 per cent during the start of 2018, according to the new research. Agents registered a staggering 367 inquiries per branch in comparison with the 268 recorded in December. This marks the highest figure since September 2017, when there were 394 registered per estate agent branch.
Following the rise in demand, there was also an influx of new sellers marketing their properties in January. The supply of available homes rose to 36 per branch on average. This was up from 33 per branch in December.
Part of this boom in demand came from the first time buyer market. Earlier in February, UK Finance reported that sales to first time buyers were at their highest point in comparison to any other year following the financial crisis. However, growing competition as 2018 progresses appears to be negatively affecting the group. Sales fell slightly to 27 per cent in January, from 32 per cent in December.
Chief Executive at NAEA Propertymark, Mark Hayward, said: ‘As we usually see in January, buyers and sellers have re-entered the market after the festive slow-down and triggered an uplift in the number of sales agreed. While this is good news for the market generally, the increased competition seems to have affected FTBs, who generally have less bargaining power when it comes to bidding for properties.’
He continued: ‘Our members have noticed FTBs holding off on making purchases typically outside of London, and saving for longer to maximise the full stamp duty relief. They’re skipping the ‘first time home’ and moving straight onto their second homes, to avoid growing out of their property in four or five years and facing the cost of stamp duty. This is a smart move and an example of how FTBs are making legislation work to their advantage.’