Property news: House hunters on the increase

The average number of house hunters increased in April, reversing the downward trend seen in the past two months, according to estate agents.*

The latest figures from the National Association of Estate Agents’ (NAEA) housing market report revealed an increase of eight percent in the average number of house hunters registering with agents in April (310 house hunters per branch) compared to March figures (286 house hunters per branch).

The number of sales during the month of April also increased, with nine sales recorded per branch, which is up slightly from eight in March, and is the highest number of average sales recorded since June 2011 (June 2011; 9). The percentage of overall sales to first time buyers (FTBs) also increased from 19 per cent in March to 23 per cent in April.

Meanwhile, for the third consecutive month, the supply of homes increased slightly, with the average number of properties available per branch increasing from 60 in March to 61 in April.

Mark Hayward, managing director of NAEA said: “Our figures show positive movement in the housing market, with consecutive monthly increases in house hunters, sales and supply. The warmer months are traditionally a popular time for house hunters, and we’re pleased to note strong activity again at this point in the year.

“Lower lending rates combined with a host of Government backed schemes and a wider variety of mortgage products has helped push the market in the right direction. It is also pleasing to see the jump in numbers of first time buyers purchasing homes as they take advantage of the low rates and help.”

“The strong house sale numbers should be encouraging for potential home sellers who may have been biding their time due to previously fluctuating market conditions.”

* Figures from the NAEA’s April 2013 market report: http://www.naea.co.uk/property-guides/property-market-reports/