The number of prospective buyers reached the highest ever recorded for the month of October according to the latest housing report by NAEA Propertymark.

The average number of prospective buyers registered per estate agent branch reached 451, a fall from 525 in September.

This is the highest number on record for the month of October, and represents a yearly increase of 32%.

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An average of 12 sales were agreed per branch, the highest figure recorded for October since 2006.

The number of sales to first-time buyers rose to 21% from 19% in September.

This is a fall of six percentage points from October 2019.

Year-on-year, the number of sales per branch increased by 50%, rising from eight in October 2018 and October 2019.

The number of properties available per member branch stood at 39 in October, falling marginally from 41 in September.

In October, 7% of properties sold for more than the original asking price.

This is a marginal fall from September when 8% of properties sold for more than the original asking price.

The majority (58%) of properties sold for less than the original asking price in October.

Mark Hayward, chief executive at NAEA Propertymark, said: “Typically, we see the property market slow down as we approach the festive period and people put their sale on hold until the New Year.

“However, the pressure of completing sales ahead of the stamp duty holiday ending means that we have seen the number of potential buyers and the number of sales completed remain unusually high for this time of year.

“This boom has been hugely beneficial for the housing market; however, we are increasingly concerned about the impact of the stamp duty cliff edge on 31 March 2021.

“This cliff edge has already increased pressure on service providers within the industry, causing delays for buyers and sellers, and could cause thousands of sales to fall through at the final hurdle as buyers realise their sale will not be completed ahead of the deadline.”