Report: The State of the Property Buying Market 2017

18 July 2017

A house sale which took place in just four hours and a growing number of people selling their homes to property buying companies are just two of the findings revealed in our State of the Property Buying Market 2017 report today.The report is compiled of survey responses by NAPB members asking them about their business, the current property buying market and the future of the sector.

Responses from 63% of members showed that:

  • The number of properties bought by professional property buyers between April 2016-March 2017 has increased on the same period the previous year. 75% of respondents said they bought more property in the last financial year (16-17) that the previous one (15-16)
  • The amount spent by professional property buyers over the same period has also increased
  • 50% of respondents spent up to £50m in the last financial year on buying property
  • The average property purchase takes a maximum of 28 days
  • The fastest property purchase was just 4 hours from when papers were issued to the solicitor
  • There is a huge range of reasons people sell to a professional buying company
  • That the public’s attitude towards professional buying companies is improving
  • The biggest threats to the industry are thought to be other professional buyers (50%) and a lack of properties for sale (50%)
    33% of respondents also consider online estate agents to be a threat to their business

Jonathan Rolande from The NAPB said: “The report highlights that the property buying market continues to steadily grow with three quarters of respondents buying more property this year than they did last year.

“It also highlights that our members’ services are not just for those in financial difficulties – something which is often presumed.

“In fact, the service our members offer often helps people in a variety of situations including those who are working to a tight timescale for their move. One of our members has bought a property in just four hours.”

The report also reveals some of the more unusual properties professional buyers have bought. These included:

  • A house in Liverpool that had partly collapsed
  • A clifftop property which is the closest property to France in the UK
  • A flat for £14,000
  • A school
  • A house about to fall off a cliff

Mr Rolande continued: “Unusual properties or those in a bad state of repair can often be difficult to sell on the open market. In these cases a professional property buying company is often the best solution for the seller. Many of our members will buy these types of properties – and will do so quickly to relieve the owner of the burden.”

In 2014 The NAPB was formed following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading into the cash property buying market in 2013.

The not-for-profit organisation is made up of a group of professional sellers committed to raising standards in the professional property buying industry. It also helps sellers decide whether selling to a professional property buying company is the right path.

In 2014 the property buying market was estimated to make up £1.2bn of all housing transactions. It is estimated that NAPB members account for half of this figure.

View the full report here: NAPB State of the Property Buying Market 2017

Jonathan Rolande

Jonathan Rolande (MNAEA MICBA MARLA) began in the property business in the late 1980’s and is a Director of House Buy Fast and helped to found The National Association of Property Buyers in 2013. He has worked closely with The Property Ombudsman to develop a Code of Practice for Residential Property Buying Companies.