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Locked out: agent says stock shortage stops buyers buying

New data from Haart estate agency suggests that despite many homes sticking on the market, apparently would be buyers are locked out of home ownership because there’s too little stock to buy.

It says the numbers registering to buy are at their highest level since April 2017. 

“Appetite in the market continued to rally in April as the number of new buyers registering to buy rose by a further four per cent on the month, bringing the annual increase to almost 40 per cent” explains Paul Smith, chief executive of Haart.


“Whilst it’s not unusual to see the market pick up at this time of the year, the number of interested buyers on our books is at its highest since April 2016, our website traffic is surpassing seasonal trends, and transaction levels have seen the biggest monthly jump since last summer, as the market gears up again” he continues.

But he says the number of homes available to buy is still hovering below pre-referendum levels, despite a significant jump on last month. Smith claims the UK’s undersupply of properties continues to hold back fluidity within the market, and thousands of Brits remain in homes that no longer suit their needs.

“The London market is also began to warm up in April. Buyer registrations and instructions increased on the month, and first-time buyers still want to buy in the capital. But, the abundance of restrictions and additional costs heaped on landlords is certainly taking effect on the lettings market” Smith adds.

He says rental stock is down 40 per cent on the year, which is in turn has pushed rents up by five per cent on the year.

“The current state of the market is becoming unsustainable for many. How can the government’s housebuilding agenda maintain momentum when the person in charge is being swapped out every few months? A lack of suitable homes is one of the biggest challenges the country is currently facing, and young people deserve more consistency in the government department that is meant to be helping them achieve the home ownership status that they deserve” the agency owner concludes.


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