Number of homebuyers jumps to two-year high
Transactions across England and Wales saw a monthly rise of 10% in August to reach the highest level since November 2016, according to data from Haart.
The number of first-time buyers registering onto the market also increased by 2.8% on the month and by 25.5% on the year.
New buyer demand for homes fell by 4.5% on the month but is up 13% annually. The number of properties coming onto the market also fell by 1.5% but has risen by 11.1% on the year.
Paul Smith, CEO of Haart, commented: “For over two years we have been listening to bold claims from commentators and public figures about the impact that Brexit will have on the housing market, but what we are seeing on the ground is proving them otherwise. The number of buyers entering the market is at the highest in two years, and the number of property transactions in August is the most seen since November 2016.
“Even the formerly sluggish London market is starting to make a u-turn. House prices are down slightly on the month and are flat on the year, but transactions have jumped 15% on the month. With 20 buyers chasing every property on the market in London, it is clear that it is a lack of stock that is really holding the market back from reaching its full potential.
“We are continuing to see buy-to-let purchases fall on the year. The additional tax burdens which have been placed on the sector have certainly been a set-back but their impact has utterly been overdone by industry commentators. Investors should recognise that buy-to-let is still a worthwhile investment. Rents in London are up 5% on the year and tenant demand is swelling – where else can you find conditions for return this favourable?
“But the market is not without its flaws. The government needs to re-double its efforts to increase housing stock, and there is growing clamour within the industry for further radical action following the success of last year’s stamp duty cut for first-time buyers.”