The housing market has largely “remained consistent” in 2019, according to the latest research from Propertymark.
The organisation found that supply has not varied greatly in a year-on-year basis, as the average available property per branch decreased from 39 properties in 2018 to 38 properties this year.
However, when looking at the last decade, housing supply has “dropped considerably”, with the average available properties per branch decreasing from 65 to 38.
Meanwhile, demand for housing in 2019 was only slightly higher than the previous year. There was a recorded average of 320 house buyers registered per branch, compared to 318 in 2018.
When looking at figures from the past decade, Propertymark found that demand saw an overall increase of 16%, up from 275 house buyers per branch that was recorded in 2009.
The number of sales agreed per branch remained consistent throughout the year, with an average of eight agreed sales per month across branches.
Propertymark also said that the proportion of total sales made to first-time buyers increased by only 2% in 2019, up to 27% from 25% the year prior.
Meanwhile, the private rented sector suffered a “sharp” increase in rent this year.
Propertymark said this was largely due to the “tenant fees ban, an outflow of landlords from the market, and Brexit uncertainty”.
In the past year, the number of tenants that experienced rent hikes climbed from an average of 26% each month in 2018, to 46% of tenants each month in 2019.
Some 64% of tenants faced rent increases in August, which was the highest recorded figure this year.
Supply for rental accommodation increased from an average of 187 per branch last year, to 197 per branch in 2019. In March, letting agents were managing a record-high average of 203 properties per branch.
Chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, David Cox, said: “It’s no surprise that tenants have suffered intense rent increases this year.
“We predicted this would happen as soon as the Government announced a ban on tenant fees, and since the ban came into force in June, rents costs have continued to spiral.”
He added: “Additionally, due to the significant amount of legislation that landlords face, this year they have continued to exit the market, which coupled with Brexit uncertainty and the looming general election has left the sector in a state of despair.
“Unfortunately, next year could go the same way, unless something is done to make the sector a more attractive investment.”
Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark chief, said: “2019 has been an interesting year for the property market. House buyers and sellers have been faced with a lot of uncertainty, which in turn affects sentiment and decision-making.”
He added: “Activity in the housing market has remained consistent when compared to the last year, which was expected, as buyers and sellers hold off on purchases until the outcome of the General Election and Brexit is clear.”