Industry professionals believe supply shortage is holding back UK property market

The vast majority of property professionals in the UK believe that the residential housing market is being held back, with a shortage of stock the main problem.

Overall 90% of those surveyed said the market is being held back and 47% said the shortage of homes for sale is the reasons, according to a poll by conveyancing services firm myhomemove.

It says that this suggests that improved confidence from sellers in the wake of the decisive election result could ensure increased stability and predictability that will deliver more confidence, pushing the number of house sales up.

The data also shows that 24% of respondents blame a lack of mortgage availability, perhaps reflecting concerns about the impact of affordability rules on lending to older borrowers and 16% said that a lack of new build properties was holding back the market, reinforcing the need for developers to keep building.

There was strong support for extending the Help to Buy scheme for new build purchases to 2020. A strong majority of 80% of respondents supported the policy, compared to a mere 8% who opposed it.

On top of this some 65% said they support the Conservative Partys’ starter homes scheme put forward in its manifesto in the run up to the general election with just 3% opposed.

But the property professionals were divided on one of the other main housing policies of reducing inheritance tax on the family home. Some 42% said they support the policy, while 38% opposed it.

The research also found that 38% believe that a target of building 200,000 new homes is achievable. The new Conservative Government promised to build 200,000 starter homes for first time buyers in its manifesto.

They think that the new Government will find it easier to implement its Right to Buy scheme for tenants of housing associations than it will to deliver its Right to Build programme. Both policies were outlined in the party’s manifesto.

And 43% said that a Right to Buy scheme for housing association tenants was realistic, with 27% not sure. There was, however, greater uncertainty over whether the party could implement the Right to Build scheme with 26% thinking that this policy was achievable, whilst 41% were not sure.
‘Property professionals are clearly concerned about the obstacles that are holding back property transaction numbers. The good news is that the decisive election result could provide a confidence boost to consumers that will mean more properties are put on the market,’ said Doug Crawford, chief executive officer of myhomemove.

‘The main housing policies outlined by the new Conservative Government in its manifesto are, for the most part, popular within the industry. The question now is whether the Government can deliver on its promises and how quickly it can do so. Some policies, like extending Help to Buy, are far simpler to deliver than others, like the proposed Right-to-Build scheme. This will undoubtedly be a big topic of debate at our conference, just one week before the Government sets its policy agenda in the Queen’s Speech,’ he added.