The National Association of Estate Agents Propertymark (NAEA) have found that first time buyers (FTBs) looking for homes have reached a three year low in August.
June boasted a strong month for FTB market presence where they made up 29% of the overall total. Similarly, July’s figures continued to rise to 30% marketshare.
However, the figures for August dropped below 20%, a feat that has not occurred since August 2015.
The statistics also indicated that the number of properties for sale has also fallen for the first time since April. Estate agents averaged 41 properties for sale per branch in April, this has fallen to 40 in August.
This figure compliments those in the UK price index which highlights a significant depletion in both existing properties on sale and available newly built property. August 2017 had 93,947 existing properties available to buy and 9,240 new build properties on the market. By January 2018, these figures had reduced to 59,459 and 5,969 respectively.
Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “In September, buyers typically storm the market in a bid to complete sales in time for Christmas. However, it looks like this year’s heatwave encouraged more house-hunters to stay at home in August and continue their searches, which has in turn increased competition and pushed FTBs out of negotiations.”
As the number of perspective househunters continues to dwindle from 343 registered per NAEA branch a year ago to 320 in August, the prospect of a continued slowing down in the market could be a persistent realisation, despite the figure rising from 303 perspective buyers registered in July.
The market’s slow and inevitable trudge towards March’s Brexit deadline could be lingering in the psyche of Britain’s FTBs. The anxieties around Brexit’s negative impact on the property market could deter FTBs until the implications on the property market become clearer.
Is a 10% decrease in the amount of FTBs in the property market a serious cause for concern? Could this suggest a changing property market until Brexit issues are resolved? Is this minor decrease just another hangover of Britain’s summer heatwave?