The number of homes registered for sale with estate agents increased in May as sellers tried to secure offers before the annual summer slowdown, the latest figures suggest.
But at the same time demand from house hunters also rose, as buyers sought to get their offers accepted, according to the latest monthly report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
Overall, the number of properties available to buy increased by 12% in May and there were 37 homes available per member branch in May, compared to 33 in April.
The report points out that during the summer months, the market is typically quieter in line with this, supply has increased every May since 2015.
Year on year, the number of sellers marketing their properties is down from 40 in May 2017, and looking at a 10 year comparison, it’s down 62% from 97 in May 2008.
Demand from prospective buyers increased from 337 in April to 351 per branch in May but year on year there hasn’t been much movement as May 2017 saw 350 house hunters registered per branch.
But looking at a two year comparison, demand has increased hugely. In May 2016 there were 304 buyers registered per branch, marking a 15% increase over the last two years.
For the fourth month running, the number of sales agreed stood at eight per branch and for the second month in a row some 24% of these were to first time buyers, the data also shows.
Year on year the number of sales agreed is down from 10 in May 2017, while the percentage of those which were made to first time is is also down from 26% last year.
‘We see this every year. House hunters desperate to get their offer accepted, and sellers on a mission to find suitable buyers, flock the market in May. They’re hoping to get everything tied up so they can enjoy their summer holidays without worrying about viewings,’ said Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive.
‘But those willing to be more flexible might do well to hold off until the market’s quieter in July and August. Not everyone heads abroad over the summer, with lots of people opting for winter sun instead, so while the market is undoubtedly quieter, competition is a little less intense, which might better suit some buyers and seller,’ he added.