Propertymark has released its 2018 sales analysis showing homebuyers are still in the market.

According to NAEA and ARLA Propertymark’s data analysis across the UK in 2018, the number of first-time buyers has reduced slightly. However, the number of homebuyers remains considerably higher than a decade ago.

In the midst of the financial crisis 10 years ago, just 222 buyers registered at each branch. In 2018, in percentage terms, that number is up by 31% with an average number of 324 homebuyers registering per branch. In 2017 the average was 366, showing a slight decrease year on year in 2018.

Fewer homes available than 10 years ago

Housing supply in 2018 is down significantly since 2008 when there were 89 more properties available on average per branch.

Year on year the volume of housing stock is pretty consistent with 39 homes available per branch in 2018 and 38 during 2017.

In September of this year the number of homes for sale peaked at 46 per branch – hitting a two year high.

Mark Hayward, Chief executive of NAEA Propertymark said: “2018 had been a busy year for the property market, with the government launching several consultations to address important issues – most notably to regulate the sector, improve the buying and selling process and address the issue of leaseholds.

“The housing market has slowed, particularly over the last couple of months, which could be a by-product of Brexit uncertainty, as buyers hold off on purchases until the outcome is clear.”

The proportion of total sales achieved from first time buyers decreased by only one percentage point year-on-year, down from 26% on average in 2017 to 25% in 2018.

Measures helping first-time buyers

The nominal reduction in first-time buyer transactions has been helped by government-backed schemes such as Help to Buy and the Chancellor’s change in stamp duty legislation in the 2017 Budget, a move that resulted in the majority of first time buyers being exempt from paying.

The data indicated that, overall, the number of sales recorded per month per branch has continued to remain consistent, being between 12 and seven from 2008 to 2018.  Monthly agreed sales per branch this year totalled eight against an average of nine in 2017