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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Housing demand soars to 11-year high

The number of house hunters in July hit the highest level in almost 11 years after leaping 5% in a month.

The supply of available housing also increased in July, reaching an almost two-year high.

But sales to first-time buyers continued to fall, according to the newly-published National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) July Housing Market Report.

The average branch had 462 house hunters looking to buy in July, up from 439 in June.

This is the highest recorded since August 2004, when an average 582 house-hunters were recorded per branch.

Available housing also increased in July, jumping 25% from an average of 44 properties available per member branch in June, to 55 in July.

These levels have not been seen in almost two years, when 57 houses on average per branch were recorded in September 2013.

But the number of sales made in July remained static from May and June, with just nine per branch.

This suggests that although housing stock is starting to increase, it remains a struggle to complete a purchase.

First-time buyers now account for just 23% of sales, down from 29% in May. Although it is an increase from 20% in July 2014.

Mark Hayward, managing director at the NAEA, said: “Typically, we’d expect to see sales taking longer to complete during the summer months, as buyers and sellers are on holiday.

“It is alarming however, that the number of sales being made to first time buyers is steadily falling.

“Having said that, the fact that there is more housing coming on to the market means that hopefully over the next few months we’ll see activity in the market increasing and more sales completing, to respond to the growing army of house hunters we’ve seen emerging over the last few months.

“The truth of the matter is though, there simply aren’t enough houses to meet growing demand.”

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