Recent research has revealed that there are eleven buyers for every available property on an estate agent’s books. This rather large number is primarily due to a surge in demand coupled with a slight decrease in available properties.
The data was published by national property association NAEA Propertymark, formerly the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). Their research shows that the number of potential buyers continues to grow while the supply of available housing is simply not able to meet the increasing demand.
Prospective Buyers on the Increase
NAEA Propertymark’s data reveals that the average amount of potential home buyers registered per member estate agent in January of 2017 was up to 425, which was an increase of 39 from the previous December’s total of 386 – a rise of 10%. If the amount of available properties had increased at a similar rate then there wouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately the research data indicates that this is not the case.
In fact, the average number of available properties on an estate agent’s books has actually dropped by three from December to January. It had been averaging out at 41 but then fell to 38 during the first month of this year. Even more worryingly, that number is the lowest since the middle of the summer of 2016.
The NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive, Mark Hayward, said, “January saw a surge in buyers but competition is rife with an average of eleven buyers chasing each property. The increase in the number of properties selling for more than the asking price in January could be a result of heightened interest and the fact there is simply not enough housing to meet demand.”
Is More Affordable Housing the Solution?
Mr Hayward of NAEA Propertymark certainly thinks that the answer is more affordable housing. He continued, “When the Government issued its Housing White Paper at the start of February, we stated how important it was for the industry to put forward robust solutions to really make a difference and it’s vital that building more affordable housing is at the very top of their agenda.”
Whether or not the government pay attention to the research remains to be seen, though it’s true that they have been informed again and again that the UK housing market is in need of more affordable housing and yet not enough has been done about it so far. There have been plenty of ideas put forth, so hopefully soon the industry will see some action on the matter.