A drop in the number of properties on the market, combined with a rise in the number of house hunters, meant that, on average, there were 11 buyers for every property in January, according to new research.
The NAEA Propertymark’s January housing report found that the average number of prospective buyers signing up with National Association of Estate Agents’ members was 425 in January – up by 10% in December 2016. Meanwhile, the number of properties on members’ books averaged at 38 in January – down from 41 in December and the lowest recorded since July 2016.
Reflecting this increase in demand, more than one in 20 properties (7%) sold for more than the original asking price – the highest figure since April 2016 (when it was 9%).
In January, 30% of sales were made to first-time buyers – down slightly from December when they accounted for 32% of sales.
Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark says: “January saw a surge in buyers looking to kick off the New Year with a new home – but competition is rife with an average of 11 buyers chasing each property.
“The increase in the number of properties selling for more than the asking price in January could be a result of heightened interest and the fact there is simply not enough housing to meet demand. When the government issued its Housing White Paper at the start of February, we stated how important it was for the industry to put forward robust solutions to really make a difference, and it’s vital that building more affordable housing is at the very top of their agenda.”