Soaring inflation means that house price growth in much of the country is being wiped out, according to a leading housing market analysis.
The latest monthly market report from the Home website says that only four English regions, plus Wales, show annual growth over and above the latest RPI inflation figure of 7.7 per cent for November.
Home also warns that with RPI inflation - according to some analysts - heading for 10 per cent, "some regions are treading water while others are suffering significant price falls in real terms.”
The website cautions that with cannier buyers fixing seven year mortgage deals at as low a rate as two per cent, there are hedges against the growing inflation threat - so it is not expecting any significant impact on the number of buyers in the housing market in 2022.
Home also quantifies the large gap between supply and demand.
It says agents’ inventories over the past 12 months have dropped 41 per cent - and actually 50 per cent less than in January 2019.
Supply in London is down 33 per cent year-on-year, sales stock is down 25% and prices are already up 1.3% over the last six months, making it one of the top four performing English regions.
Monthly supply of new sales listings remains comparatively low across the UK, down 18 per cent compared to the month of December 2020. Greater London shows the greatest contraction again this month.
Scarcity is also prevalent in the rental market and Home warns that it’s getting worse - the supply of rental properties is down 24 per cent on January 2021, making further rent hikes inevitable this year.