Number of sales agreed per agency branch in December hits 14-year high


The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch increased to the highest amount for the month of December since 2006, according to the latest NAEA Propertymark housing report. The average number of prospective buyers registered per estate agent branch in December 2020 dropped 41% month-on-month to 348 in December, down from 580 in November, the data shows. This is the lowest number recorded since May, when the property market first reopened following the government’s lockdown. However, it is the highest number recorded for December since 2016. The number of sales made to first-time buyers stood at 23% in December, down slightly from 24% a month earlier. Meanwhile, the number of properties available per member branch stood at 33 in December, falling from 40 in November. The figures also reveal that just 5% of properties sold for more than the original asking price in December, a decrease from November when 10% of properties sold for more than asking price. The majority – 67% – of properties sold for less than the original asking price in December. Mark Hayward Mark Hayward, chief policy advisor at NAEA Propertymark, said: “The number of potential buyers in the market fell significantly in December after November’s record high. While we would ordinarily expect to see a lull over the festive period, these numbers show that the tightening of lockdown restrictions, coupled with the reality that many individuals would no longer meet the stamp duty deadline, has exacerbated this. “As we approach the stamp duty, LTT and LBTT cliff edges on the 31 March, we are increasingly concerned about the pressure this is placing on the property industry with more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of estate agents expecting to see an increase in failed sales due to buyers realising their sales will not complete ahead of the deadline. It’s important that action is taken now to prevent this and support the property sector.”

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