Estate agents say UK's house-buying system is out of date

02NOV

Estate agents say UK's house-buying system is out of date

Thu 02 Nov 2017 by Frances Traynor

Eight out of 10 UK estate agents think the house-buying system is out of date. The agents were responding to a survey as part of the National Association of Estate Agents Propertymark's (NAEA) September housing market report.

A total of 79 percent of those quizzed said they felt the process for buying a home across the UK needs to be reformed for the benefit of all involved in the system.

And the NAEA's report backed the current call for evidence by the Department for Communities and Local Government that aims to improve the home-buying experience across England.

The NAEA Propertymark is the leading professional body for estate agencies in the UK with more than 10,5000 estate agent offices carrying its Propertymark.

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Consultation on reform is welcome

Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive, said: "The Government's announcement last weekend that it will consult to reform the home-buying process couldn't come soon enough, and we welcome it.

"Our findings show that estate agents agree and would welcome changes to ensure that the process for buying and selling is brought into the 21st century.

"The current prolonged process means that sales are stagnating despite the fact that the supply of housing up and there is growing demand. Hopefully, we will see activity pick up marginally in the short term, when properties that are being marketed now are taken off the market and pushed through so buyers can be in before Christmas."

Flat sales despite increase in supply and demand

The NAEA's September report showed that the number of house hunters registering with estate agents rose to its highest level since March this year with 394 on average per branch, up from 343 in August and 347 in July.

The number of properties available to buy also rose for the first time since March, to an average 41 per branch.

However, the report noted that despite the increase in both supply and demand, the number of agreed sales stayed flat with an average of eight per branch, the same figures as July and August. Meanwhile, the proportion of sales made to first-time buyers was 23 percent in September, also the same as in July and August.

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