While buyer demand remains strong, stock levels are down more than 26 per cent compared to last year’s average
The property market is facing the worst shortage in fresh listings since 2015, property portal Zoopla has warned.
While buyer demand remains strong, stock levels are down more than 26 per cent compared to last year’s average.
Total listings are also 33 per cent lower than they were this time in 2018 and 2019. One in 20 UK homes changed hands over the past year, compared to one in 25 two years ago.
Supply problems are worst for homes priced up to £350,000, which Zoopla said was reflective of where average affordability lies for buyers.
It’s the supply of three and four bed family homes that is most stretched, the report added. The narrowing in choice of homes to buy, especially for family houses, means the market will start to slow naturally during the rest of the year and into next, as buyers wait for more stock to become available.
While we anticipate a strong start to 2022 in line with seasonal trends, there will be a slow reparation of stock throughout the first half of the year, it added.
The average time taken between listing and an agreed sale is now 26 days, down from 49 days in 2019.
While the value of an average flat in the UK has increased by 1.2 per cent in the past year, the value of an average house has increased by 7.6 per cent over the same period, according to the data.
This huge mismatch between supply and demand is triggering property price hikes in many parts of the country, according to Zoopla.
Year-on-year, property prices grew by 6 per cent in July, which was marginally down from the 6.3 per cent growth rate seen in the year to June. The average value of a home across the UK is now £234,000.
The headline rate of growth is expected to be slightly down to nearly 4 or 5 per cent by the end of the year, Zoopla said.
At a regional level, property price growth has been highest in Wales and Northern Ireland, with annual property price growth rates of more than 9 per cent.
The North West of England has also seen sharp rise in prices. At city level, Liverpool continues to lead the way with price growth of 9.4 per cent over the past year, with the average price of a property rising by £11,731.
Property prices in Manchester and Belfast have jumped more than 7 per cent in the past year, while property prices in London have increased by just 2.5 per cent.
Gráinne Gilmore, head of research, at Zoopla, said: The post-pandemic “reassessment of home” – households deciding to change how and where they live – has further to run, especially as office-based workers receive confirmation about flexible working, allowing more leeway to live further from the office.
This means higher levels of demand will still be evident, and potential vendors with family houses to sell could be in pole position, she said.
She said: However, the lack of supply, especially for family houses, means the market will start to naturally slow during the rest of this year and into next year, as buyers hold on for more stock to become available before making a move.
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