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Member of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) reported that the current market is levelling out; however there are still signs of uncertainty. July’s figures clearly show that there is still a lack of consumer confidence, with less people entering the market.

There was however, stability reported in the number of sales agreed, number of viewings before a sale is secured, the time between instruction and the sale and percentage of agreed sales that have fallen through.

Chris Brown, president of the NAEA, comments: “The figures reported by agents in July show that there is still an indication of stability in the market, however consumers continue to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach in the hope that there will be an improvement in the market.

“Consumers are feeling anxious and have every right to be with the Government’s inability to reassure the market, especially over the issue of Stamp Duty. Decisive action in this area is needed as we are concerned that the anticipation of the suspension of stamp duty may halt the transactions in the housing market even further.”

House hunters still lack confidence

The number of house hunters has dropped considerably in July with an average of 192 on agents books compared to 226 the month before. There could be a number of reasons for this reduction in numbers. This figure can be in part attributed to the holiday season, however it also continues to indicate that consumers have lost confidence and are adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude with the hope of seeing an improved market in the near future. We are also concerned that the recent Stamp Duty comments will cause a further hiatus in the market.

Housing stock increases slightly

The number of properties on agents books in July increased by a fraction up to 95 from 94 in June. However, there is a dramatic difference shown from the year before where the figure stood at 45, indicating that people do want to sell but that houses are remaining on estate agents’ books for longer.
Sales per agent remain stable

Sales have remained the same this month at 6 sales per agent. This is still down from the same time last year where an average of 10 sales was recorded. However, the stability of this figure shows that there are still sales being made even in a traditionally quiet time of the year, which is positive.
First time buyers feel the pressure

June’s figures report that the percentage of first time buyers is down to 10.7%. Again this could reflect the star to of the holiday season. However, it is evident that first time buyer’s confidence has been fluctuating dramatically over the last year and whilst some continue to be willing to dip their toe into the water others will need greater enticement to get on the ladder.

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