In February we saw a rise of house sales to first-time buyers (FTBs), indicating the impact the first-time buyer Stamp Duty relief is having on the property market. However, according to NAEA Propertymark (the National Association of Estate Agents), more help is needed.
NAEA Propertymark’s February Housing Report shows that this relief is having the desired effect, with sales gradually rising to 29% in February from 27% in January. These sales show the best results since February 2015, which led into a dip of 24% and 22% in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, has commented: “Since the Chancellor cut Stamp Duty for first-time buyers, there have been a good level of sales to the group, but they haven’t rocketed…
Looking at the individual sales of Propertymark branches, there were seven agreed in January and eight in February, showing the highest results in a few months, as they hadn’t been at such numbers since October 2017.
Hayward also said: “Our members have noticed FTBs holding off on making purchases since the rule was introduced – typically outside of London – opting instead to save for longer to maximise the full stamp duty relief.”
Although we are seeing these improvements, it is clear that the crash in the housing market is taking its toll.
The demand for property has dropped slightly, with the actual number of those searching for properties falling from 367 registered per branch, to 309.
Adjacently to this demand, the supply is also suffering, with the amount of available properties per branch dropping from 36 in January, to 35 in February.
The selling prices of properties have been fairing similarly in the same month, according to this research, with 74% of properties selling for less than the asking price. 22% sold at the asking price and 4% sold for more.
Hayward went on to say: “The cost of buying is still very high, and FTBs are still finding it difficult to save for their deposits. As the cost of living continues to rise, we still have a long way to go to make the dream of owning a home accessible to all, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.”
We hope to see such a trends continue and also show in the March report.