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Agency stock warning issued as cost of living crisis could further reduce supply

The lack of housing stock, rising inflation and rising mortgage rates could all lead to agents running out of stock in a worst-case scenario, TwentyEA has warned.

The analytics firm, part of the TwentyCI data company, says there is still a supply issue in the housing market and the situation may get worse if the rising cost of living and increased mortgage pricing make home loans more unaffordable.

It warns that the disparity between housing stock and demand is making homes unaffordable for those trying to get on the property ladder as well as those simply hoping to move.


To combat this, agents are being advised to focus on potential vendors who are most likely to instruct.

Katy Billany, executive director at TwentyEA, says: “The lack of supply coupled with unaffordability is causing these current market conditions.

“A desire for more living space at the height of the pandemic caused demand to increase. Although the lack of supply is becoming a persistent issue in 2022.

“The competition among buyers puts a vast amount of pressure on estate agents as large numbers of people are interested in very few homes. 

“The worst-case scenario could result in estate agents running out of stock and so it’s important that agents are focusing their marketing efforts on those individuals who are most likely to instruct.

“It’s the only way to ensure that they benefit from the unprecedented levels of demand when stock is so low.”

It comes as the latest Homemover Pulse, published by TwentyCi, last month showed that there are currently 172,589 residential properties available for sale and 237,512 properties with sales agreed across the country.

There have also been a total of 290,381 completions in the past three months.

The figures show that the highest volume of property market activity is happening across the south east of England where there have been more than 52,000 completions in the past three months.

Additionally, more than 70,000 households have instructed agents or have sales agreed.

The new instructions figure for much of the rest of the UK over the past three months is below 20,000 in each region, according to the report.

By looking at the number of new instructions as a percentage of the number of households in each region, TwentyCI found that 3.3% of households in the south east of England are in the process of moving home, meaning they have either instructed an agent or have a sale agreed.

The figure drops to 1.01% in London and just 0.33% in Scotland where there has been a 4% monthly drop in new instructions.

Billany adds: “The level of activity is far greater across some regions compared to others, yet a chronic lack of supply and huge levels of demand is visible across the UK.

“Agents who take the time to observe these differences, such as those between London and Scotland, will have a better time navigating their business during these uncertain times.”


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