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Strong FTB activity during April

Date online: 04/06/2015

It seems first time buyers (FTBs) had some good news in April, as sales to the group jumped from 22% in March to 26% of sales in April. However when looking further ahead, nine in ten (93%) NAEA agents do not see FTBs having substantial cut through in the market over the next five years. Further, over half (55%) of member agents think that house prices will increase over the next five years, continuing to push FTBs out of the market.

The report also found that in the build up to the General Election, demand in April remained similar to the previous month with 344 house hunters registered per branch (343 in March), whilst supply decreased from last month, with just 43 houses available per member branch (48 in March). In addition to this, three quarters (74%) of NAEA member agents do not see supply and demand levelling out over the next five years, meaning that more buyers will be squeezed out of the market.

Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) said: “The market is notoriously tough for first time buyers; house prices continue to increase and lenders have tight and restrictive lending criteria. Whilst this month’s figures are positive and a step in the right direction, I’d like to think that with the help of 200,000 new starter homes and the Help to Buy ISA, FTBs will be given even more help to get their foot on the ladder; however these things may take time to come to fruition.”

Following the result of the General Election, nine in ten (92%) NAEA agents think the majority Conservative government is great news for the housing market and out of all the Conservatives’ pledges, three in five (60%) NAEA agents believe their plan to build 200,000 new starter homes will benefit consumers the most. Two in five (41%) estate agents believe that the Help to Buy ISA will be the most beneficial, allowing first time buyers (FTBs) to save more successfully for their first home.

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