Are you frustrated by the lack of available properties on the market at present? There could be signs that things are starting to improve for homebuyers…

If you’re currently on the lookout for a new property, you may have noticed it’s difficult to find a range of available homes to choose from. There are currently more buyers than properties, which means it can be a challenge to find what you want. And if you do spot your dream home, you may find that someone else gets to the vendor with an offer before you do. On a practical level, it’s frustrating and it also creates a financial challenge – increased demand is driving up house prices.

Shortage of stock

The shortage of available stock compared to buyers is partly due to the fact that more people want to move after reassessing their property needs during various lockdowns. Many people are searching for bigger properties with more outdoor space, while others are searching for properties with room for a home office.

However, there does appear to be some good news on the horizon. While housing stock is still low, the month of March saw more new properties coming onto the market.

Figures published by the industry property body, Propertymark, showed a small increase in new properties on the market in March. And it is hoping that the increase will continue in the coming months.

New properties listed for sale per member branch stood at ten in March, compared to only five in December.

‘The number of sales being agreed in March is slightly above our recorded long-term average and the uplift in properties coming to market is a trend we would hope to see continue into April and May,’ says Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark.

More properties achieving the asking price

Propertymark also says that the number of offers accepted at or over the asking price has increased by four per cent to 84 per cent. This is the highest figure since it began keeping records in September 2013.

Property sales to first-time buyers in March were at 30 per cent of overall sales. This is down slightly from February’s figure of 37 per cent but well above average for the post-2020 lockdown period of 25 per cent.

If you’re hoping to sell your property, there’s some good news. April is the second strongest month to sell your home according to Rightmove, closely followed by May (March was the strongest).

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data says: ‘Spring has long been known as a peak point in the housing market calendar, with many buyers and sellers trying to get into a new home for the summer months.’

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