Demand for UK property at its highest for almost a year

Demand for property in May in the UK was at its highest level since September 2014 at a time when supply has seen a large fall year on year, according to estate agents.

There were 383 house hunters registered on average per branch compared to 344 the previous month, according to the latest monthly report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

The report also records the highest year on year level of house buyers since May 2005 when 386 house hunters were recorded per branch.

The data shows that the supply of housing has increased marginally from last month, with 46 houses up for sale per NAEA member branch in May, compared to 43 last month. And whilst demand for property is at similarly high levels to May 2005, supply has almost halved year on year over the 10 years, when 81 properties were available to buy.
 
As supply and demand levels have risen, the number of sales per member branch has also risen slightly from last month. Some nine sales were agreed in May, compared to eight in April. Sales to first time buyers increased in May, jumping from 26% in April to 29% of sales in May.
 
‘There’s been a significant jump in the number of house hunters searching for properties this month, no doubt because the uncertainty of the market following the election has worn off and confidence has returned,’ said Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director.

‘However, supply does not meet the rise in demand, and as consumer confidence grows we will continue to see a widening of the property gap. The housing shortage will not be solved any time soon, so as pressure mounts we will no doubt see increases in house prices, making it harder for those stepping on or up the ladder,’ he added.