If you’re of the mindset that the property market is in the midst of a period of difficulty, then the latest figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) will surely change your mind, with both the supply of housing and the demand for housing at increased levels proving the market’s current health.
The NAEA Propertymark’s latest figures have shown that the supply of available housing increased by 20% in December. The number of properties reached the highest level for December since 2014, with housing supply per branch increasing to 42 – an increase from 35 per branch in November. Simultaneously, the number of house hunters also increased by 8% in December, with overall demand up 13% year-on-year.
Mark Hayward, chief executive at NAEA Propertymark, said: “This month’s findings prove that despite the current political climate, people still want to move. There is movement in the market with demand from house hunters up 13% year-on-year, and the supply of available properties also rising. Although the number of sales agreed hit a 12-month low, this is something we always see in December, with Christmas festivities typically taking priority over any plans to buy or sell.
“While many are adopting a ‘wait and see’ strategy until there’s further clarity over what Brexit might mean for the market, there is choice for those who want to buy now, and there are people on the market looking for new homes.”
First-time buyer sales also showed an increase in December, with the number of properties sold to the group increasing to 24%. With first-time buyers integral to the health of the property market, rising statistics in terms of their buying potential is always a good indicator of the viability of the market.
As we move further into 2019, it is difficult to predict whether the health of the market will remain consistent in the face of political instability and the financial effects of this lack of consistency. On the other hand, there are other macroeconomic conditions which are favourable for the health of property across the country, such as historically low-interest rates and the relative ease to obtain mortgage credit. These conditions mean that more people than ever are in a position to take out a mortgage and purchase a property, with schemes also available to alleviate the trouble which some find in saving for a deposit, and this increased demand should shore up the market even after Brexit has (or indeed, hasn’t) taken place.