Record number of houses for sale in UK

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) reported that there were a record number of properties on agent’s books in the second quarter of this year, making it a buyer’s market.

NAEA reported that on average estate agents had 78 properties on their books in Q2 this year this compared to 55 in Q2 last year, an increase of 29.4%. House prices have remained largely static.

However, buyers still seem reluctant. The survey recorded 378 applicants registered per agent over the second quarter of 2005, down 23.9% from the 497 applications per agent recorded over the second quarter of 2004.

The second quarter of 2005 saw the first decrease in property values over a 12 month period since 2003. House prices fell 2.9% compared with the same time the previous year.

However, the majority of home owners need not be alarmed, as Chris Hall, President of the NAEA, explained: “This reduction in value will only affect those who have purchased property during the past 12 months. Those who bought before will, in most cases, still be showing a gain in value and home-owners intent on retaining their properties in the longer term are unlikely to be affected.

Mr Hall said: “With the number of homes on the market increasing steadily over the past 18 months, and the number of people looking to purchase property decreasing, buyers can take advantage of greater choice in the marketplace".

He added: “The survey does confirm, however, that buyers should still be able to negotiate an average of 4.5% below the asking price”

Yesterday the Halifax warned that house prices could fall by up to 2% and investment bank Morgan Stanley indicated that a drop of 5% was possible.


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