Househunter figures at their highest level for five years

Report also shows rise in sales to first time buyers

The average number of househunters registering with an agent increased from 281 in December 2012 to 314 in January, figures released today from the National Association of Estate Agents’ (NAEA) show. This is the highest figure since September 2007 (average of 326).

NAEA's report also shows a rise in the percentage of sales made to first time buyers. In January, this hit its highest point in almost two years at 25 per cent of overall sales compared with 21 per cent in December, a two year high.

The increase in demand affected the number of sales agreed, which rose from an average of five per branch to seven.

President of the NAEA Mark Hayward, said: “These latest results reflect a wider upturn in the market at the start of what we hope will be a better year for UK property. The strong number of enquiries during January suggests the financial barriers that have plagued the market for so many years may be beginning to ease as banks increasingly look at new ways to assist buyers.

“Strong financial results from some of the country’s leading house builders this week suggest a growing confidence that some form of a recovery is beginning to take shape.”

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