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Estate agents ‘remain upbeat’ about UK housing market

Purchasers remained largely unfazed by the uncertainty in the lead up to the EU referendum as reflected by strong demand for housing, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) June Housing Market report.

The trade body also said that supply of available properties, and the number of sales going through remained steady pre-EU vote. But immediately following the result, agents witnessed uncertainty from sellers, and supply fell momentarily, according to the NAEA.

Overall, estate agents saw an increase in demand in June, suggesting buyers were not fazed by the risk of the EU voting to leave the European Union. There were an average 330 house hunters registered per member branch last month, up 9% month-on-month. However, although June saw growth in the number of prospective buyers, demand still remains low in comparison to June last year.

But instantly following the Brexit result, 57% of agents reported a drop in demand from prospective buyers, while 58% saw supply fall in the week immediately following the vote. However, it is expected this will level out in July.

Mark Hayward, managing director, NAEA, said: “In periods of extreme political and economic uncertainty, the housing market will always respond. However, it’s a relief to see that looking at the whole month overall, buyers were still keen to buy, sellers were still keen to sell and sales were still going through at the same level as we’d expect. It’s only natural that immediately following the vote supply fell but our figures show that the lead up to the vote wasn’t all doom and gloom, which should be a good indication of the months to come.

 “We remain upbeat and need others in the industry to do so as well. The new Housing Minister confirming his commitment to building 1m new homes will be encouraging for many buyers, especially those looking to buy their first home. Hopefully, we should soon see housing market confidence bouncing back to the levels seen pre-Brexit.”

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