UK Housing Supply Increases and Homeowners Remain Positive
The latest figures show that the UK's housing supply has grown to its highest point since March, which indicates that the market is growing and is good news for both house buyers and sellers.
The National Association of Estate Agents' (NAEA) monthly report for August highlights that each member branch had an average of 41 properties for sale, including those with a cast iron balcony. This is the biggest number recorded since March, when 54 were on sale per branch.
First-Time Buyer Figures Up
The data released by the NAEA also shows encouraging signs for first-time buyers, with the number of purchases made by this group rising to 28% of the total sales in August, from 25% in July. This has increased by 8% year on year, and 25% of agents questioned think that first-time buyer figures will rise further, especially with the latest cut in interest rates.
The information for August indicates a slight drop in the number of registered buyers per branch, with a fall from 298 in July to 287. However, this is to be expected at this point in the year, as people concentrate on their summer holidays.
There was also a positive move for selling prices, with a fall in the number that were sold for under the asking price. In July a total of 79% of the properties went for less than sellers were asking, but this decreased by 3% to 76% last month, which shows that buyers are positive about the future and want to secure their ideal property at the right price.
All of this data is encouraging news for the housing market, which has faced a few uncertain months with speculation over interest rates and the fallout from Brexit. The increase in supply means that buyers now have more choice, which has resulted in a higher than expected rise in first-time buyer sales.
Positivity Across the Country
As well as official figures showing positive results, households in the UK are starting to feel more positive about the housing market and believe that prices will rise over the next year. The House Price Sentiment Index, compiled by HIS Markit and Knight Frank, indicates that 20.8% of those surveyed believe that their property has risen in value over the past month, including those houses with a cast iron balcony.
Households across all areas of the country are confident that values will increase further over the coming 12 months, with southern property owners more confident than those living in the north. However, they believe that this growth will be more muted than in the past few months, and those who own their home outright and mortgage holders are anticipating the biggest growth.
The UK is still facing some uncertainty, particularly around the process of exiting the European Union, which could result in a degree of economic turbulence, but the basics of the housing market should help to keep it on track throughout this period of transition.