Supply & Demand

Thursday 28 January 2016  / Ruth Montia

The National Association of Estate Agents has released data indicating that the supply of available housing for sale has on average, halved in the past decade.

The data suggests that the average number of properties available to their branch members in December 2015 fell to just 37 properties. This was recorded as one of the lowest monthly figures for 2015 and compared to December 2005, this figure is almost half of the average then of 72 houses per branch available. In December 2014 there were 45 houses recorded available, which ids again a significant decrease.

NAEA managing director Mark Hayward comments “Whilst we expect figures for supply and demand to be seasonally low in December, the year 2015 overall does not paint a positive picture for the housing market. Supply of housing is half of what it was 10 years ago, yet the number of home buyers on the books has been gradually increasing. When there is such a huge and widening gap between supply and demand, a level playing field seems further out of reach for many would be house buyers”.

The government has made an effort to help first time buyers via the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme and plans to build new starter homes, but these are still yet to take effect with a lack of available builders to provide the demand. The number of sales to FTBs stands at 24%, which is a drop of 2% compared to December 2014.

Hayward continues “The issue of lack of supply needs to be solved, but it isn’t going to be done anytime soon. We are still waiting to see new homes being built; and whilst we wait, house prices continue to rise.  There is some potential light for first time buyers however, once the new tax rate increase in April is in place we may see less investment from buy-to-let or second home investors, which may mean less competition for first time buyers”.