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Average of 29 buyers for every property on the market, say estate agents

·2-min read

There is an average of 29 buyers for every property available on the market, as stock levels have dwindled to a record low, according to estate agents.

The average number of homes available per estate agency branch fell to a record low of 20 in November, down from 21 in October, property professionals’ body Propertymark said. It is the lowest figure it has seen since its records started in 2001.

Meanwhile, the average number of house-hunters registered per estate agent branch stood at 571 in November, a figure that has been climbing since June.

This means there is an average of 29 buyers for every available property on the market, Propertymark said.

Nearly two in five (38%) of homes sold for more than the original asking price in November, up from around one in five (21%) in October.

A year ago, only one property in 10 (10%) was selling for above the original asking price.

The proportion of sales made to first-time buyers rose to 29% in November from 25% in October.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive, Propertymark, said: “The pressure on the housing market, and consequently house prices, is continuing at an unrelenting rate.”

He added: “The level of demand is expected to continue into the first quarter of next year but cannot last forever.”

The figures were released as a separate report from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) showed that an estimated 96,290 house sales took place across the UK in November 2021, which was 16.4% lower than November 2020 but 24.3% higher than in October 2021.

HMRC said a significant decrease in property sales had been seen in October after the temporary stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland ended.

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: “Lack of property choice is posing a more serious threat to transaction numbers than rising interest rates and stretched affordability.”

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “As with previous years, we expect that early January will see an uptick in activity, and certainly our branches are always asked to value many homes in the early new year as sellers look to take advantage of the new outlook.

“Whilst low stock is likely to continue to drive the housing market in the first months of 2022, we anticipate that the upward movement in inflationary pressures will do little to dampen transaction volumes, and that these will remain stable heading in to the new year.”

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