Housing demand reaches highest ever October level – NAEA Propertymark

The number of prospective home buyers reached an average of 451 per estate agent branch in October, according to data from NAEA Propertymark, the highest ever figure it has recorded for the month of October since records began.

NAEA Propertymark’s October Housing Market Report revealed that this figure had fallen since September, when housing demand was at its highest since August 2006 – with 525 prospective buyers per branch.

The professional body for estate agents said its latest numbers are “unusually high” and reflect the effect of the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday on the market in England, as well as the Land Transaction Tax in Wales, and the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland.

Another highest recorded figure was the number of sales agreed per estate agent branch. NAEA Propertymark revealed that this reached a landmark figure of 12, the highest figure recorded for October since 2006. Year-on-year, the number of sales per branch has increased by 50%, rising from eight in October 2018 and October 2019.

The percentage of properties that sold for more than the original asking price had a marginal fall from September’s 8% to 7% in October. However, the data indicated that first-time buyers were not deterred, and sales stood at 21%, rising from 19% in September.

NAEA Propertymark chief executive, Mark Hayward, commented: “Typically, we see the property market slow down as we approach the festive period and people put their sale on hold until the New Year. However, the pressure of completing sales ahead of the stamp duty holiday ending means that we have seen the number of potential buyers and the number of sales completed remain unusually high for this time of year.

“This boom has been hugely beneficial for the housing market; however, we are increasingly concerned about the impact of the stamp duty cliff edge on 31 March 2021.

“This cliff edge has already increased pressure on service providers within the industry, causing delays for buyers and sellers, and could cause thousands of sales to fall through at the final hurdle as buyers realise their sale will not be completed ahead of the deadline.”

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