Lack of new homes for sale in UK not getting any better

The lack of supply in the UK housing sales market looks set to continue with the latest figures showing that across the country new property listings fell by 11.9% in November, the biggest drop this year.

It was even worse in London where supply fell by 18.3% with just two of the London boroughs seeing an increase in new properties coming to the market, according to the property supply index from online estate agents HouseSimple.

It comes at a time when property experts are warning that the lack of supply is keeping house prices high so the fact that the index shows that more than two thirds, some 67.4% of towns and cities experienced a decline in property supply indicates that the problem is not going away.

The biggest fall in property listings was in Hereford where they fell by 42.1% and they were down by 35.8% in Chichester in November, by 35.7% in Warwick, by 34.5% in Aberdeen and by 33.3% in Halifax.

The location with the biggest rise in supply was Swansea with an increase of 89%.

In London the borough with the biggest fall in new listings was Islington with a fall of 35.4%, followed by Brent, down 31.7%, Bromley down 31.2%, Kensington and Chelsea down 27.9% and Merton down 26.7%.

After Swansea the town with the biggest rise in supply was West Bromwich with a rise of 70.6%, followed by Bootle up 55.6%, Southport up 49.6%, Worcester up 31.4%, Truro up 27.2% and Stirling up 24.5%.

According to Alex Gosling, chief executive officer of House Simple, November is traditionally a buoyant month for the property market, with sellers looking to secure a sale before the festive break.

‘It will come as something of a surprise then to see supply levels fall again last month, and a near 12% fall will be a concern when supply levels are extremely low in many areas. This drop in supply could simply be a correction after new listings jumped in September. It could also be due in part to the fallout from the EU vote and shock Trump election result, although the property market had proved extremely resilient to these two seismic events in the space of a few months,’ he explained.

‘The lack of supply has been an issue throughout this year. There are plenty of buyers but sellers have been scarce on the ground. Now that Christmas is less than three weeks away, new listings are unlikely to pick up significantly, although for those sellers who need to sell, or fancy testing the market, they could have their pick of committed buyers,’ he said.

‘Looking ahead to 2017, the property market is in surprisingly good health considering the headwinds it’s faced in the second half of the year. And there’s a great deal of optimism that January will start with a bang as sellers come back with renewed vigour in the New Year,’ he added.