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Apr 21 2017

Rolfe East: Sales Agreed at a 10 year high

With the recent triggering of Article 50 taking the UK a step further through the process of Brexit, some have been quick to suggest that property in London is overvalued, at that this might bring downward pressure on prices.

The National Association of Estate Agents have just published a housing market report for February, and the average number across the UK of sales agreed per branch reached a 10 year high, with 11 sales per branch; 2007 was the last time anything higher than 10 per branch was last achieved. This is a positive sign of buyer confidence, and a vibrant market.

When looking at the property market we should temper the negative opinions that we hear in the media, particularly those with a political message, with what statistics on the ground show us. Not only was February a significant month in terms of overtaking the milestone of 10 sales agreed per branch, but there was also a 26% year-on-year increase in the number of properties available to buy per branch, this on the face of it should be good news to buyers.

The major engine of the price increase in homes over many years now has been a lack in the supply of new homes. First time buyers are most likely to be vulnerable to price increases in the market, and February saw the proportion of sales to first-time buyers fall by 8% on the previous month.

Whether you're an investor or a homeowner, when considering property, a long-term view is needed, even though at present we have seen quite significant price increases in the short-term. Finance remains cheap, and looks set to continue in this fashion, so whilst we may hear scare stories about the potential impact of Brexit, until the supply of new homes to the market increases in a massive way, property will continue to be at a premium due to high demand.

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