Estate Agents See Investment Property Numbers Decline

The number of investment properties available to buy on estate agents books has declined from 37 in June to just 35 in July.

The recent drop in numbers has brought the lowest level of available properties recorded for July since records began in 2002. This could have been stimulated by a fall in the proportion of sales made to first time buyers in July, falling by 30 per cent to reach 23 per cent. This marks the lowest level seen since last September, when the rate was also 23 per cent. The only recorded instance of estate agent sales to first time buyers being lower than this was during November 2015, which saw lows of 21 per cent.

The information, which comes from NAEA Propertymark (National Association of Estate Agents), found that the number of sales agreed per branch fell during July. This is typical for this time of year during the summer slump. In June there were 11 sales agreed per branch, a figure which fell to just 8 in July.

The number of people seeking properties was also affected by the slowness typical of the summer, falling by 10 per cent from 384 per branch in June. This is in comparison to the 347 recorded in July. This is the lowest it has been since November 2016, when just 344 potential buyers were registered per branch. However, on a yearly basis there has been a marked increase from the 298 recorded in July 2016.

Just three per cent of properties were sold above asking price in July, an increase of one percentage point from June. The number of homes which sold for less than asking price rose to 80 per cent last month, a huge rise from one per cent in June, marking the highest level since December 2016.

Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, Mark Hayward, said: ‘It is natural for the market to dip in the summer and then recover. We usually see a subdued July and August, and then a boom in September with an influx of new properties coming onto the market, it remains to be seen whether this year is typical.  We’d also expect to see the number of house hunter increase, as buyers strive to complete sales before the winter kicks in.’

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