The National Association of Estate Agents released it’s September Housing Market Report today.

It paints a fairly positive picture as far as buyer numbers and, in particular, first time buyers go.

The report surveys members of the NAEA each month. And this month it states that house hunters registered with each of their members’ branches on average have increased marginally from 304 in August to 308 in September. First time buyers, arguably the staple diet to underpin the foundations of the housing market, now account for 22% of potential property purchasers.

So far so good.

But despite the number of registered applicants increasing across what is a membership predominated by High Street agentsand (and even though first time buyers are returning) sales themselves are stagnant at eight per branch office, the same as in August. This is somewhat lower than prior months and accords with Land Registry data also released today which shows transactional volumes down 8.4% in April to July of this year compared to 2010.

Speaking for online estate agents as a specific sector of the property industry, our own sales and new instructions are growing each and every month. This seems in stark contrast to the bricks and mortar guys as evident from the NAEA report.

It appears that conventional agents are really suffering with those lower volumes. They cannot hope to survive at the current level even if they continue to desperately attempt to increase fee levels as they are too. More High Street agency offices are bound to close as downward fee pressure is applied further and unjustifiably  high fees alienate sellers and push them away.

Now there IS an alternative. The public are an informed and resourceful bunch and will surely begin to desert expensive High Street offices as they become more and more aware of internet estate agents like eMoov that typically save 90% on selling fees for doing exactly the same job but whilst actually employing even more property websites.

eMoov will display your home on over 30 property portals, numerous newspaper websites both local and national and even internationally now.

The worm is turning. Literally, some might say.

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