At the end of a strong week for housing market indicators, the latest survey from the website Home suggests a major shortfall of homes on sale continues - but post-election buyer confidence is rising sharply.
Home, which produces a monthly market snapshot, says the total stock of property for sale in England and Wales is down 9.7 per cent on the situation a year ago.
London is currently worst hit by the property drought with 23 per cent less stock on the market than a year ago.
Similarly, the lettings market has 15 per cent less stock entering the market and London is suffering the most with the supply of newly available rental properties down 21 per cent.
Supply has dropped below the level of demand in both sectors and the website’s expectations are for significant upward price movement in London this year.
While demand for the few rental properties currently available is inflating rents across much of Greater London, Home’s research also shows that rent hikes are beginning to accelerate in the South East too - that region is now up 7.8 per cent year on year.
“We expect this trend to continue throughout 2020 and house prices to begin to follow suit in the region later in the year. Overall, UK rents are up even more (8.0 per cent year on year) but this figure is inflated disproportionally by the Greater London mix-adjusted average of 12.1 per cent” says Home.
And on the sales market, it continues: “Confidence amongst vendors, as shown by this month’s price rises, is highest in London, the Midlands and the North. Moreover, reduced political uncertainty and talk of a possible rate cut by the Bank of England will bolster buyer confidence going forward and thereby increase demand throughout 2020.”
Yesterday we reported a relatively optimistic sentiment forecast for the 2020 housing market from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and stronger-than-expected house price figures from HM Land Registry relating to late 2019.