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Buyer demand up 12% from October

The average number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch stood at 571 in November, an increase of 12% from October’s figure of 511, according to NAEA Propertymark.

The number of properties available per member branch stood at 20 in November, a continued decline from 21 in October, and the lowest figure Propertymark has ever recorded.

This means there was an average of 29 buyers for every available property on the market in November, a 21% increase in competition from October.

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The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch fell slightly to seven in November, from October’s figure of eight.

Year-on-year, this figure is almost half of the sales agreed last year which stood at 13 for November 2020.

However, looking back over the past five years, seven was the average number of sales agreed for the month of November.

In November, 38% of properties sold for more than the original asking price, an increase from 21% in October.

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This was also almost four times higher than last year’s figure when 10% of properties sold for over the asking price.

The number of sales made to first-time buyers rose to 29% in November from October’s figure of 25%.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said: “The pressure on the housing market and consequently house prices, is continuing at an unrelenting rate.

“However, heading into December, the market should start to slow.

“Those with a property to sell would be wise to act sooner rather than later as the level of demand is expected to continue into the first quarter of next year but cannot last forever.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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RICS: Buyer demand steadies but stock issues remain

Buyer demand has leveled off somewhat, following a brief pull-back in the wake of the flurry of activity seen prior to the phasing out of the stamp duty holiday, the September 2021 RICS UK Residential Survey has found.

However, notwithstanding the steadier demand picture, the volume of newly agreed sales did slip back for a third month in succession, evidenced -15% of respondents citing a decline.

Looking ahead, near-term sales expectations improved modestly at the headline level up 11% from +6% beforehand. This would be consistent with a small acceleration in momentum through the rest of 2021.

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With regards to supply, the recent decline in new listings coming onto the market shows little sign of abating. Respondents reported that the number of appraisals undertaken during September was below the rate seen 12 months prior, with the net balance slipping to -26% from -10% back in August.

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “The stamp duty holiday may have finally ended but a combination of low interest rates and a lack of stock on the market means house prices continue to rise, now and for the foreseeable.

“In particular, houses with outside space are doing well, giving buyers room to work from home and the living conditions they need in this post-pandemic world.

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“With rents rising as buyers who need to move can’t find available stock, or can’t afford to buy thanks to rising values, this is providing a boost to the rental market. With employers bringing staff back into offices for a day or two a week, this is pushing demand for rental properties near city centres.

“Although there is growing speculation about an interest rate rise, this is still unlikely in the short term. If this is the case, and stock levels remain low, property prices will continue to rise. Stamp duty is possibly the only lever left to pull in order to increase stock by reducing or removing it for downsizers.”

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Buyer Demand Remains Higher for Houses Due to Covid

Covid-19 continues to fuel buyer demand for larger homes and more outdoor space across every county in England according to recent research by PropCast, with three-bed houses the most desirable and one-bed flats the least.

The findings from the house selling weather forecast analysed buyer demand across England to see what percentage of houses and flats for sale were being snapped up, and how that differed between the number of bedrooms.

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PropCast has found 73 per cent of houses for sale are under offer or subject to contract – substantially higher than the figure for flats (43 per cent). Houses are the most sought after with the top five counties being: Bristol (83 per cent); Dorset (81 per cent); Hampshire and West Sussex (80 per cent); Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire (79 per cent); and East Sussex, Essex, Suffolk, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset (78 per cent). London has the least amount of houses under offer or subject across England (56 per cent), but this is still larger than the sale of flats (35 per cent).

On average, three-bed houses are in most demand with 76 per cent for sale under offer or subject to contract, followed by two-beds (75 per cent), four plus-beds (69 per cent) and one-beds (62 per cent).

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Meanwhile, one-bedroom flats are the least desirable at 44 per cent – most likely due to not having a garden and with limited space indoors – along with three-bedroom flats. In terms of flats overall, two-beds are the most popular (50 per cent), followed by four-plus beds (39 per cent).

Gavin Brazg, founder of PropCast said: “Over the last year, we can see buyer demand has grown to record high levels across England, and we don’t expect this to peter out anytime soon. However, it’s clear to see that if you’re trying to sell a flat at the moment with minimal to no outdoor space, it is going to be harder to find a buyer quickly. My advice would be to look at the situation as if you are in a buyers’ market, which is a time where you have to change your selling strategy in order to achieve the best possible price and fast. The best way to strengthen your position is to price conservatively from the start and choose a local, trusted estate agent who truly knows the market and how best to position your home within it.”

BY PETE CARVILL

Source: Property Wire

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The Budget stimulated an 80% rise in buyer demand

The recent Budget stimulated an 80% rise in buyer demand for property compared to the four-year average, according to Zoopla’s monthly House Price Index.

Despite this, the supply of new homes is down 13%, compared to the 2020 average.

Zoopla outlined that the volume of homes for sale is expected to recover as the COVID-19 vaccination programme continues to gather pace and the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown comes into effect.

From a national perspective, average home values are up 4.1% since the start of the first lockdown, amounting to £8,907 on the year or £750 per month.

While annual house price growth is down slightly from 4.4% last month, this marks the fourth consecutive month of house price growth over 4%.

Regionally house price growth in the Midlands, North of England, Wales and Scotland are at an almost 10-year high, fuelled by the relative affordability in these markets.

At a city level, Liverpool and Manchester continue to show the strongest levels of annual house price growth, up 6.6% and 6.4% respectively.

Sales agreed are up 5.3% compared to the same period in 2020, and the average time to sell a property in the UK has fallen by nearly a week across the UK excluding London, down from 50 days in 2020 to 44 days.

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In contrast, London is the only region in the UK where properties are taking longer to sell.

The North East and the North West have recorded the highest reduction in time to sell on a regional level, falling by 17 days and 12 days, respectively.

At the same time, the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber are the fastest moving markets in the UK, with sales agreed on properties in an average of just 38 days from the point of listing.

The index also revealed that houses are selling three weeks faster than flats.

The lockdown-led ‘search for space’ means houses are taking an average of 42 days to go from the point of listing to sale agreed, this compares to 62 days for a flat.

Demand for three-bed homes rose by 30% in the week after the Budget, in relation, the average value of a house has risen by 4.9%.

Meanwhile, the average price of a flat has increased by 1.9% over the same timeframe.

An estimated 130,000 properties for sale in England will be stamp duty free for another six months following the Budget which will amount to £123m saved in tax.

Overall, Zoopla anticipates that more than half a million buyers this year will benefit from some level of stamp duty relief.

David Ross, managing director of Hometrack, said: “The 95% LTV mortgage guarantee scheme and the stamp duty extension outlined in the Budget have led to a spike in buyer demand, which was up 24% in the days following the announcement.

“The stimulus provided by the mortgage guarantee scheme will likely promote a similar increase of uptake of higher equity loans from the knock-on in demand up the property chain.

“With time to complete standing at around four months, buyers in the North of England look set to benefit the most – with two-third of local stock under £250,000 in value, and therefore always exempt from stamp duty.

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“While prospects for the wider housing market have improved on the back of the Budget, the post-lockdown path to the full reopening of the economy and unwinding of support measures will still have a big impact.

“Therefore, we still expect house price growth to moderate later in the year, but overall transactions look set to get an additional boost from the stamp duty measures.”

Nigel Purves, chief executive of Wayhome, added: “With a full year of lockdown behind us, there has been increased momentum in the housing market ahead of the busy Spring period.

“Indeed, house prices were up by 4.9% year on year and flats were also up by 1.9% over the same period.

“Over the coming months with offices, shops and restaurants set to reopen, we may witness some individuals turning back to connectivity and convenience, while others continue their ‘search for space.

“While the introduction of 95% loan-to-value mortgages may bring hope to those wanting to step foot on the ladder, affordability remains a serious problem.

“There are many households whose incomes still won’t meet the criteria for mortgage approval, despite their ability to consistently pay rent on the kind of homes they would like to buy.

“Going forward, the government needs to work with the property industry to better support alternative routes to help ‘reluctant renters’ achieve homeownership.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Hereford sees a surge in buyer demand as housing market reopens

HEREFORD has been named as the city leading a bounce back in buyer demand following the reopening of England’s housing market, analysis has found.

Property website Rightmove based its findings on the volumes of house hunters phoning and emailing estate agents about properties for sale in the first two weeks of June, compared with before the lockdown in the first two weeks in March.

Across England generally, buyer demand was up by nearly a third (32%).

The housing market in England started to reopen from May 13, with serious buyers now able to undertake physical viewings once more.

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Hereford topped the list, with demand surging by 77% when comparing the first two weeks of March with the same period this month. The average asking price in June, according to RightMove, was £244,440.

It was followed by the North West towns of Wigan, with a 71% uplift and an average asking price of £165,448, and Rochdale, where the average asking price was £179,329, with a 66% increase.

Steven Thomas, Director of Watkins Thomas in Hereford, said: “Our market has been very busy since we were able to reopen in May.

“There’s been a shift in the type of buyer since before lockdown. We were dealing with a lot of first-time buyers with limited deposits in March, but now it’s families looking for more space.

“It’s a bit like what we see in January – families spend Christmas sitting down and talking about their next move and they get going in January. We’re now seeing people, having sat down during lockdown and reviewed what they’re looking for, jumping into action in June.

“June and July is often quieter for us because this group of buyers are usually away, so that’s why we’re seeing a surge of late spring buyers.

“There’s also a lot of real interest coming from the South East, from people in their 50s and 60s realising they can get a lot more for their money and can live in an area with acres of open countryside.”

By James Thomas

Source: Hereford Times