Supply shortage drives up house prices

The number of properties that sold for above or at the original asking price so far in 2014 has increased markedly since 2013, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

Figures from the NAEA January Housing Market Report show nearly a third (32 percent) of properties sold for the original asking price, with one in eight (12 percent) sold for more than the asking price.

This contrasts with figures from September 2013, when this data was first collected. Back then, under a quarter (22 percent) of properties were sold for the original asking price and only seven percent sold for more.

NAEA member agents also reported a decrease in the number of available properties in January, down from an average of 47 in December 2013 to 45 in January. With an average of just over 350 house hunters per NAEA member branch, this means there are now an average of eight buyers for every property on the market.

January is also the fourth consecutive month to show a drop in the number of properties available in the housing market and represents the lowest figure seen since July 2007.

However, despite the lack of property for sale, the average number of sales increased by a third (33.3 percent) in January. Sales were up from an average of six per branch in December 2013 to eight in January – reversing the decrease seen in December and reflecting the traditional resurgence after the holiday period. The proportion of first time buyers (FTBs) purchasing homes also increased, up from an average of 26 percent in December 2013 to 28 percent in January.