Michael Jones, President of the NAEA, said: “Year on year, it does not appear that there has been a drop off in activity. However the next couple of months will be telling. The market appears relatively flat at the moment which we expect during the holiday month of August. We would expect some indication during September and October as to which way it is likely to go, before we get the traditional pre-Christmas slow-down.”
The number of people registering with agents to look for property fell on average from 292 in July to 250 in August. The number of sales made by the average branch also dipped slightly, from eight in July to seven in August. The percentage of sales made to first time buyers dropped from 26% to 21% from July to August.
Over the longer-term however the market remained in a similar position to 12 months previously. A particular positive was the fact that the supply of housing appears to have recovered. The average agent had 69 properties on its books, up very slightly from 68 the month before.
Mr Jones said: “Among the expected fall-off in activity that always typifies the high summer, the figures on supply of housing are a welcome piece of news.
“Supply of housing has been low in the first half of this year and it is welcome to see it return to a similar level to 12 months ago. What we need now is for the lenders to increase mortgage availability particularly to first-time buyers. There remains a strong underlying confidence in property, which is still considered by many to be the best longer-term investment.”
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