‘Sustained lack of properties’ damaging housing market

Adam Williams
Written By:
Adam Williams

The lack of suitable properties in the UK housing market is proving increasingly damaging, a broker firm has suggested.

Property transaction figures from HMRC showed the traditional winter slowdown is coming to an end, with transactions growing in March.

However Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said the UK faced long-term problems with housing supply.

“Although it is positive to see that there is still plenty of life in the market, maintaining affordability and addressing the imbalance between supply and demand remains a priority,” he said.

“A sustained lack of properties coming on the market will stunt future housing activity, and drive up house prices at a rate that could leave first-time buyers on more modest incomes barred from the property ladder.”

The data, released earlier this week, showed 100,790 residential transactions were completed during March along with 9,760 non-residential transactions.

“After a quiet winter – where the number of monthly property transactions dropped below 100,000 for four consecutive months – it is encouraging to see that the growth observed by HMRC in February has been sustained,” Murphy added.

“The number of transactions in March were up 4% compared to the beginning of the year, suggesting the seasonal slowdown in activity is coming to an end.

“While there has been much speculation that political uncertainty surrounding the forthcoming election could lead to a slump in housing activity, this does not seem to be the case so far, with the number of transactions standing just 2.5% below March 2014. Stamp duty reform as well as excellently priced mortgage rates have bolstered activity by stimulating consumer demand.”