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Number of available homes for sale down by a quarter

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There's a particular lack of stock of larger family homes, which are in high demand
Number of available homes for sale down by a quarter

The UK property market is facing its greatest stock shortage since 2015, according to Zoopla.

The property portal said strong buyer demand has eroded the supply of stock. It noted a 40% increase in sales transactions in the 12 months to June compared to the 12 months previously, leaving an acute shortage of homes for sale.

While buyer demand remains strong, up 20.5% compared to the 2020 average, stock levels are down 26.4% compared to the 2020 average.

Zoopla added that, looking back further, total stock is down 33% compared to 2018 and 2019 levels.

Fast sales

Competition amongst buyers has been intensifying, making the market move faster. The average time to sell is now 26 days, down from 49 days in 2019. Sales agreed are running at 21% above levels seen in the summer of 2018/19.

The lack of stock is most pronounced for homes priced up to £350,000, but the ongoing demand for more space means it’s the supply of three and four bed family homes that is most stretched.

Demand for family homes is clear in the price growth statistics. The average flat in the UK has increased in value by 1.2% in the past 12 months, while the average house has increased by 7.6% over the same period.

Spencer Wyer, spokesperson for Hometrack, said: “Despite the supply constraints shaping the UK property market, high demand for property is sustaining mortgage volumes, which was high compared to the normal market average for July in 2017-2019, regardless of the tapering of the stamp duty holiday at the end of June.

“Such demand is seeing homes change hands more quickly, making the automation of mortgage applications through to offers ever more important to the industry and to our customers’ journeys.

“Demand is set to remain strong into H1 2022, especially for family houses priced up to £350,000 – but this is where supply is most stretched. If there is a slow down in activity levels or the rate of price growth over the coming months, it will most likely be driven by the lack of supply and buyers holding out for new stock. Demand for property is likely to moderate as well, due to the reduction of government stimulus.”

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