Home owner insurance: buyer enquiries

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Home owner insurance holders saw the amount of enquiries for their properties go up last month, according to Britain’s estate agents.

A market report for March by The National Association of Estate Agent’s (NAEA), shows a rise in the number of house hunters registered with agents across the UK.

The study shows landlord property insurance holders’ estate agents are getting average in-branch enquiries of 268 in February, compared to 290 during last month.

The NAEA says this tally is the highest level of interest recorded in eight months.

Let property insurance holders look to have continued to enjoy good returns however, as the number of houses available for sale decreased slightly – from 70 per branch in February, to 68 in March.

President of the Association, Michael Jones says: “Economic pressures are making life very difficult for homeowners and those looking to enter the property market.”

Meanwhile, the NAEA says the number of sales remained the same with eight per branch on average.

The percentage of sales made to first time buyers fell marginally, moving from 25 per cent of the market share to 23 per cent.

This ratio however is still in line with the year-on-year average.

Mr Jones says: “The significant growth in demand for homes reported by our agents suggests that house-hunters are searching for a good deal on property before the traditional spike in activity over the Easter holidays.
“Rather than new build projects to help people onto the housing ladder, the government should instead be looking at ways to maximise mortgage availability.”

Price growth in the new homes market is being held back by the lower loan-to-value mortgages offered by lenders, it has been claimed.

Vernon Pethard, managing director at newhomesforsale.co.uk, said: “Lenders generally discriminate against new-build homes, by unjustifiably offering lower loan-to-value mortgages on brand new properties compared to re-sales, making it harder for many prospective buyers to purchase a new home, which holds back demand.”

He added that the “fragile” confidence in the sector is also restricting any hopes of price rises.

The average value of a new-build property dipped by 0.4 per cent in March, but has risen by one per cent in the past year, according to figures from smartnewhomes.

Mr Pethard added that new homes can be “far more” energy efficient than older properties as well as being “cheaper to run”.

smartnewhomes reported on April 18th 2011 that the average price of a new home slipped by 0.4 per cent in March 2011 to £218,344. ADNFCR-3813-ID-19955097-ADNFCR

26th April 2011