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Sales market comes off the boil, but activity still at record levels

Number of sales agreed and prospective buyers hit records during October, but are less frenzied than month before.

Nigel Lewis

spring property sales

The property sales frenzy is beginning to cool off during the run up to Christmas but the number of prospective buyers and agree sales have been at record levels for this time of year, says NAEA Propertymark’s latest figures covering October.

It says this was driven to a large extent by purchasers seeking to move home before the stamp duty cut-off date on 31st March.

Estate agencies saw 12 sales on average per branch, the highest level since October 2016 while the number of prospective buyers registering with agents increased to an all-time record of 451 for the month, albeit down from 525 during September.

This is a sign that the sales activity may be quietening down as preparations for Christmas herald the usual seasonal market shut-down.

Sales agreed reduced from 14 to 12 per branch, the data shows, and supply of property dropped from 31 to 39 properties per branch, month on month.

Nevertheless sales activity is still at much higher levels than previous Octobers, up by approximately 50% on 208 and 2019, says the NAEA.

Worries over the future of the economy have also not put off first time buyers whose share of sales is up 6% on last year, at 21% of the market.

mark hayward naea“We are increasingly concerned about the impact of the stamp duty cliff edge on 31st March 2021,” says Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark (pictured).

“This 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.”

Read Kate Faulkner’s latest market report for The Negotiator.


November 30, 2020

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