More properties for sale in January, but prices up

17 February 2005
Data from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) indicates that the number of properties for sale increased significantly in January, and with them the average house price.

The statistics reveal that the number of sellers coming into the market increased, as did the average property price, increasing to £209,561, 0.14 per cent higher than December's average.

This is the first increase since May 2004, suggesting the house price correction experienced until now may be at an end, the Guardian reported yesterday.

The outlook is not entirely bleak for buyers, however, as their relative scarcity is likely to drive prices down.

The NAEA said the number of first-time buyers has decreased, moving from 16 per cent of agreed sales in December 2004 to 11.7 per cent in January 2005.

It seems to be a buyers' market, therefore, with buyers achieving an average discount of four per cent off the asking price - although this is less than the 5.5 per cent they were claiming last summer.

"With interest rates unchanged and the chance of them being lowered in the next few months, there seems to be little reason why the brisk activity seen so far will not continue into 2005," said Richard Hair, president of the NAEA.

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