Humberts says property values across the south east of England have seen robust growth of almost eight per cent over the past year but is warning that “a serious shortage of property available to buy is holding back buoyancy in the market”.
The firm says that according to Land Registry data, the south east saw mainstream house price growth of 7.6 per cent in the year to August, well about the national average of 4.2 per cent.
But a new Humberts report, looking at prime values across its offices throughout the south east, says that prime market was much more muted - growing only between two and five per cent.
In the year to June - the latest figures available - some Humberts offices have seen a severe shortage of stock compared to a year earlier.
For example, Canterbury was down 43 per cent, Sevenoaks down 45 per cent, and Petersfield down 47 per cent.
“Buyer demand has been encouragingly healthy but frustration is building and the expectation gap between asking prices and offers still remains an issue. As a result, average monthly sales across the south east region are 25 per cent down on last year according to Land Registry data” says Nick Barnes, author of the Humberts report,
“We expect to see the supply and demand imbalance persist for some time, in part due to nervousness about looming interest rates in the New Year and the resulting impact on mortgage payments and disposable income, but also due to further tightening of the mortgage market with the arrival of the EU Mortgage Credit Directive” he says.
Meanwhile another agent, Strutt & Parker, says it is seeing a recovery in sales at the over-£2m level which had previously been hit by stock market and stamp duty jitters.
It says that transactions are now close to those seen in the last quarter of last year, and predicts that there will be sufficient growth in the final quarter of the year to hit the forecast of 5.0 per cent for 2015.