'Historically low' mortgage rates see demand for properties surpass supply

19 June 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
Demand for properties is outstripping the supply, as record low mortgage rates have encouraged more buyers to the market, according to new statistics from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

There is an average four buyers registered with estate agents for each property that's on the market, the NAEA's figures show,

The NAEA's monthly survey of the UK housing market found that potential homeowners are on the rise, with each branch having an average 299 house hunters registered in May – up from 265 in April, and from 247 in the same month last year – compared to an average 69 properties for sale.

House sales are also up for the second consecutive month, with the average estate agent branch reporting 10 properties sold in May, up 30 per cent on last May's results and twice the number of homes sold in August 2008.

"This is really good news for the housing market and the UK economy in general," said Gary Smith, president of the NAEA.

"NAEA members are showing that there are buyers a-plenty out there. More often than not these are also potential sellers who are at the beginning of the process - so there is bound to be a lag which creates a shortage of properties in the short term."

While the housing market was a major catalyst of the current economic crisis, Mr Smith believes that it is also the housing market that will cure the crunch.

"With mortgage interest rates at historically low levels and prices now far more realistic than in previous years, home ownership in the UK seems to be set to lead the way out of the recession," he said.

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