One in five buyers are paying more than the asking price

New mortgage figures described as a 'statistical fog' but suggest a slowdown in activity

The supply of houses for sale has dropped by 27 per cent compared to this time last year, according to the National Association of Estate Agents. There are now 44 properties available per NAEA branch.

Its report shows that around 19 per cent of properties sold for more than the asking price in May, nearly three times the seven per cent figure when NAEA first collected this data in September 2013.

Around 46 per cent of sellers accepted lower than asking price, the smallest percentage since 2013, when 71 per cent of sellers did so. The proportion of first time buyers purchasing a home in May dropped to 25 per cent, down from 28 per cent in April.

"The number of househunters is substantially higher than the number of properties on the market, so competition is always going to be rife," said Mark Hayward, Managing Director of the NAEA. "Unfortunately the lack of housing problem is not going to go away anytime soon. We have seen a shortage in the number of new builds in the last five or so years, and those who are currently in a property and looking to move may be put off by the cost of stamp duty.

"With limited numbers of houses for sale, unfortunately it means that those who simply can’t afford to increase their original offer will often be priced out the market."

The report also found that semi-detached homes continued to be the most popular choice for buyers with over a third of househunters in May looking for this type of property, followed by detached (29 per cent), terraced (10 per cent) and flats (18 per cent). Nearly half of buyers were looking to up-size.

Mortgage lending in May was £16.5 billion, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, exactly the same as in April and 12 per cent higher than May last year.

"Market indicators point to a slowdown in activity levels, in part associated with new mortgage rules, but it is unclear how lasting this will be," said CML chief economist Bob Pannell, who described the results as a 'statistical fog'.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said that the threat of an interest rate rise is 'bound to be having an impact' on people's thoughts on taking on new debt.

"While it still looks as though the first rate rise won't come before the middle of next year at the earliest, fixed-rate mortgages are becoming more expensive, and will continue to do so," he said. "However, borrowers shouldn't panic as five-year fixes are still available for a little over three per cent, historically, an excellent rate. Borrowers might want to secure a fix now though if they need certainty rather than waiting several months to see what happens. Ultimately, there is only one way for interest rates to move and that's upwards, it's a question of when this will happen."

Meanwhile, lettings specialist Belvoir's latest figures indicate that the average UK rent in the first three months this year was £717 per month, a slight year-on-year rise.

"Contrary to media reports of massive rental increases, the market has remained steady, with many regions still not recovering to 2008 levels," said Dorian Gonsalves, Belvoir's Director of Commercial and Franchising.

"Although rents in Yorkshire are now recovering to pre-recession levels, only rents in the South East, South West, West Midlands and London are exceeding the heights achieved in 2008 and it is the London market that has seen the biggest increase."

The report shows that rents in 14 counties, including Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Dorset have yet to reach 2008 levels, while rents in  Essex and North Yorkshire are on a par with the 2008 level.

 

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Nursery Nurse

£40 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Nursery Nurse needed in salfordI a...

Nursery Nurse

£25 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse needed in th...

Supply Teaching jobs in Thetford

£21588 - £31566 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...

KS1 teachers needed in Peterborough

£110 - £125 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are ur...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape