Buyers return to housing market

Lower property prices have led to an increase in the number of buyers tempted back to the market, figures have shown.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) said the average agent now had 241 potential buyers on its books in November, in comparison to 218 during the previous month.

Sellers are not so positive, it would seem, with the number of homeowners putting their properties up for sale down for a second month, leaving the average agent with 64 homes on its books.

However, the dip in sellers is not unusual for the time of year, as people traditionally put off selling their home until after the festive season, as they do not want to disrupt their family over Christmas.

The NAEA said many homeowners also continued to have unrealistic expectations about the value of their property, and were likely to be holding off selling in the hope that prices will rise again next year.

The fall in sellers is good news for the property market, as it will help to correct some of the mismatch between supply and demand.

The shortage of buyers relative to stock levels had put purchasers in a strong negotiating position, which could place further pressure on prices.

Sales levels remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive month during November, despite the seasonal slowdown, with estate agents selling an average of seven properties per branch.

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