05 Sep First-time buyer numbers reached an eight-month high over the summer
While the traditional summer slump affected much of the market the amount of first-time buyers hit an eight-month high across the UK in the month of July.
As is often the case, the supply of properties available to buy in the UK increased in July, while demand from buyers fell. However, first timers were able to take advantage of the trend with the number of sales made to the group rising noticeably, according to the latest monthly analysis report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
In July, the number of properties available per estate agent branch increased for the third month in a row, rising from an average of 33 per branch in April, to 37 in May, 39 in June and 41 the previous month.
The report points out that year on year this is a 17% increase, as agents had just 35 properties available to market in July 2017.
Overall, the number of house hunters registered at estate agents fell for the second month running with 303 registered per branch in July, the lowest recorded since December 2017 when agents had 268 on their books.
But the NAEA pointed out that this is typical of July, as house hunters put their plans on hold while summer holiday season takes priority. For the last three years, demand has dipped in July compared to June.
Some 30% of all sales were to first time buyers in July, an increase of 1% from June and up 7% from July 2017 when just 23% of sales were made to the group.
“What we saw in July was typical of the summer. House hunters put their plans on hold as the holiday season takes priority, and demand dips as a result,” said Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive.
“We don’t usually see first time buyers taking advantage of this environment and pushing to agree sales while sellers are on the back foot.
“In September, buyers typically storm the market in a bid to complete sales in time for Christmas, so first time buyers should make the most of the slower market while they can,” he added.