The property market is usually quieter during December as many are winding down for Christmas; however, it appears that first time buyers took advantage of this quiet period.
New figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) show a large number of prospective homeowners rushing to the market during the most recent Christmas period.
In December of 2017, the number of people registered with an estate agent to look for a home saw a drop by 20%, with sales taking a fall also. This is to be expected, as it is very common for many home movers to delay any transactions until the New Year.
It seemed to be quite a different story for those looking to buy their first home, as December 2017 saw a rise in first-time buyer sales by a substantial 32%, the highest peak since September 2016 and up from 27% in November.
The survey from the NAEA also revealed that the supply of UK properties hasn’t changed much at all, not meeting the new surge or first-time buyers coming to the market as the stock of each estate agency branch decreased by only one, to an average of 33 properties per branch.
It was also found that home hunters and transactions overall saw a dip in December. Registered prospective homeowners fell from an average of 333 to 268 per branch in the final month of the year and sales agreed per branch fell from seven to five from November to December.
December also saw a reduction in transaction times, with the number of sales completed in less than 4 weeks quadrupling and the number of sales taking longer than 17 weeks almost reduced by half.
Chief Executive of the NAEA, Mark Hayward, spoke about the findings of the survey. Hayward believes that these could be the first signs of the stamp duty cut having its effect “It looks like that’s what we’re starting to see. Hopefully, this enthusiasm won’t falter when the second and third-time buyers come back onto the market and competition hots up again”