27 Feb Homebuyer demand at five year high
The number of homebuyers registering with estate agents leapt 18 per cent, the strongest demand seen since a 23 per cent rise in February 2007, according to Hometrack. But figures were lifted by a surge in first time buyers rushing to beat the stamp duty holiday which ends on March 24, the national housing survey indicates.
On a regional level, buyer interest was up 28 per cent in the South East and 22 per cent in the South West.
With many buyers doubling as sellers, the stock of housing coming to the market grew 10 per cent over the month.
However, as investors and first time buyers have no properties to sell, the growth in demand outpaced the increase in supply across nearly all regions, with a scarcity of supply remaining a key feature of the market.
Over the last six months there has been just a 1.5 per cent increase in the supply of housing for sale, keeping prices somewhat motionless, the analysis shows.
Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said that a rise of 0.1 per cent recorded in Greater London offset falls of 0.1 per cent in the East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, South West and Wales.
The North East saw the biggest drop, down 0.3 per cent, but house prices remained flat in the South East, East Anglia and Yorkshire and Humberside.
He added: “The proportion of the asking price being achieved jumped to 92.9 per cent in February up 0.4 per cent over the month – this is the highest proportion since September 2010.”