Within the property market, 2018 will be remembered for a time of uncertainty and the slow deterioration of property prices. The NAEA Propertymark housing report for November has corroborated other figures and statistics which suggest the market is struggling as December comes to an end.
Although November and December are slow months as home buyers delay their property search until after the festive period, the number of house hunters registered per estate agent fell to their lowest levels in six years.
The number of registered house hunters decreased by 4% from the 294 in October to 282 in November. November 2012 was the last time these statistics were so low for this month of the year.
Available supply dropped from 40 properties per agency in October to 35 in November; equating to a 13% drop for the second consecutive month. As the property market availability market shrinks, concerns will begin to grow concerning availability moving into the new year.
However, whilst first-time buyers enjoyed the heatwave in August and September and only made up 20% of the property sales, the 3% increase in October has held firm in November, with FTBs making up 23% of property sales in this month. However, compared with the 27% of sales being made up of FTBs this time a year ago, the figures suggest that this group have reduced slightly in 2018.
Similarly, the number of sales agreed per branch also dropped for the second month in a row from eight in October to seven in November.
Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, said: “Last month it was clear that uncertainty surrounding Brexit was having an impact on the sector, and this month is no different. We usually see a seasonal slow-down, but it’s unlikely that the time of year is the sole cause of today’s market conditions.
“As we near the end of the year, we’d usually expect potential buyers and sellers put their plans on hold until early next year, but it’s likely that this year we’ll just see people holding off until there’s some clarity around what the Brexit deal might look like and what it will mean for the economy.”
Is this symptomatic of the lull around the festive period? Or, do you find the extreme decline concerning?