Home buyer con­fi­dence bounces back to pre-Brexit lev­els

The Oban Times - - PROPERTY -

De­mand for prop­er­ties

In Septem­ber, the aver­age num­ber of house hunters reg­is­tered per mem­ber branch in­creased from 287 in Au­gust, to 333. This is a rise of 16 per cent and takes the num­ber of prospec­tive house buy­ers recorded up to the lev­els seen back in June, when es­tate agents recorded 330 on aver­age per branch.

Sales to first-time buy­ers (FTBs)

In Septem­ber, 23 per cent of sales were made to FTBs – a de­crease of five per­cent­age points from Au­gust and the low­est level seen since Novem­ber last year when 21 per cent of sales were made to the group. Just one in 10 es­tate agents (12 per cent) has seen sales to FTBs stall since Brexit, whereas two in five (41 per cent) have wit­nessed no change in FTB ac­tiv­ity as a re­sult of the Brexit vote.

Sup­ply of prop­er­ties and sales agreed

The num­ber of houses avail­able to buy de­creased marginally in Septem­ber, to 40 per branch. This is a de­cline from 41 prop­er­ties per branch recorded in Au­gust, which was the high­est level seen since March this year. The num­ber of sales agreed rose by 12.5 per cent in Septem­ber to an aver­age of nine per branch.

Mark Hay­ward, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Es­tate Agents (NAEA), com­mented on the find­ings: ‘ This month’s re­port proves that buyer con­fi­dence is grow­ing, which is ob­vi­ously re­as­sur­ing, given that we ex­pected un­cer­tainty fol­low­ing Brexit. Al­though sup­ply has dropped marginally, this does not con­cern us as it’s still higher than the lev­els we saw be­tween April and July. How­ever, it is wor­ry­ing that the num­ber of sales be­ing made to FTBs has fallen to the low­est num­ber in 10 months. The fact the govern­ment’s Help to Buy hous­ing scheme is due to close this year might pose more of a chal­lenge for those who were re­ly­ing on this to help get their foot on the prop­erty lad­der. We now look ahead to the au­tumn state­ment and look for­ward to see­ing what plans the govern­ment puts in place to as­sist FTBs to­wards their goal of home­own­er­ship.’

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