Property market is ‘unsustainable’ says industry chief

by | Nov 26, 2021

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  • The number of available properties per branch decreased to 21, the lowest figure on record and 46% lower than October 2020.
  • The number of buyers registered per branch continues to climb standing at 511 in October, a 12% increase from September.
  • Average sales agreed decreased to 8 per branch, a 32% decrease from September but in line with pre-pandemic levels.

Demand from house hunters

  • Demand continues to climb as the average number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch stood at 511 in October, which is a 12 per cent increase from 458 September 2021 and a 13 per cent increase year in year from 451 in October 2020.
  •  The demand levels are widening further from the number of properties available on the market.

Supply of available properties

  • The number of properties available to buy continues to fall and has reached a record low at 21 per branch in October, decreasing from 23 in September. Year on year this is a 46 per cent decrease from October 2020.

Sales to FTBs

  • The number of sales made to FTBs remained steady at 25 per cent, falling slightly from 28 per cent in September.
  • The number of buy to let sales increased from 9 per cent in September to 13 per cent in October.
  • The number of buyers entering the market is relentless and with the level of first-time buyers remaining steady and buy to let investor sales on the increase there is currently an average of 24 buyers per available home on the market.

Sales agreed

  • Activity slowed in October but remains steady, estate agents reported an average of 8 sales agreed per branch, a slight decrease from 11 per branch in September.
  • This is a decrease of 32 per cent.

What properties sold for

  • In October, 55 per cent of properties agreed sales at the original asking price.
  • Interestingly, despite demand, for the second consecutive month the number of sales being agreed at over asking price has fallen. Properties agreeing sales at over the asking price has dropped to 21 per cent in October from 27 per cent in September.

Nathan Emerson, Chief Executive, Propertymark comments:


“Figures from October show a continuing picture for the housing market which is unsustainable.  Estate agents across the country are working with some of the lowest levels of available homes we have ever seen yet demand from buyers is not easing.

“Heading into the festive period should take some of the heat out of the market as we know that usual market trends see a decrease in activity as people turn their attention to Christmas.

“However, with so many buyers still hungry for their new home, sellers would do well not to put moving plans on hold for too long.


What we need to see in the new year is a gentle levelling out, which could be driven by new year motivations delivering new sellers or changing interest rates taking some of the mounting energy from buyers.”

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