House hunter numbers decline
Sales remained static across the property market in September, despite the number of house hunters falling for the second month.
The National Association of Estate Agents’ market report for September showed a slight decrease in the number of house hunters registering with an agent across the country. The figure declined from 250 in August to 247 in September as an average per branch.
The number of houses available for sale rose from 69 per branch in August to 72 in September while the number of sales stayed at seven per branch on average. The percentage of sales made to first-time buyers dropped from 21 per cent in August to 20 per cent in September, suggesting that this group continues to encounter difficulty in obtaining a mortgage.
NAEA president Michael Jones said: “The drop in the number of first-time buyers is still a concern. Assisting the first-time buyers’ market is imperative if we are to strengthen the housing industry. This means the banks have to become less restrictive in their lending policies.”