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Monday 22nd of June 2009
June 19, 2009

Surge in potential homebuyers as stocks dwindle


by Gill Montia
”Surge

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has reported a surge in the number of potential house purchasers registering with its members.

NAEA firms reported an average 299 househunters signing up in May, the highest level since September 2007.

However, last month the number of properties on estate agents’ books fell to an average of just 69, down from 76 in April.

As a result, there are now four potential buyers for every property on the market, according to the NAEA.

The research is supported by latest figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which recently reported that new instructions fell again in May, leaving stocks on estate agents’ books down more than one third on a year ago.

The NAEA survey also shows that the rise in new buyer inquiries is translating into sales, with estate agencies selling an average 10.4 homes last month.

The figure has now risen for five consecutive months and is at its highest since October 2007.

Despite the need for higher deposits, the proportion of homes sold to first-time buyers almost doubled from April to May, to 43%.

The ratio is at a level not seen since September 2001 and evidence that those waiting to get a foot on the property ladder believe the market has bottomed out.

In related news, the Building Societies Association said earlier this week that confidence in the UK property market is recovering.

In a June survey of 2,242 adults, the average prediction for house price changes in the coming year was for a rise of 1.4%.

In addition, the proportion of respondents confident that now is a good time to buy rose to 59%, up from 54% in March and just 27% in June 2008.

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