L&G: ‘Unprecedented’ demand from homebuyers could dry up UK housing stock

Legal & General Mortgage Club has raised concerns about the widening gap between supply and demand after the lockdown period.

One in four people (25%) plan to buy a home in 2020, with a further 28% saying they are considering a property purchase this year.

However only 4% of homeowners are looking to sell this year.

The government’s stamp duty holiday has given people a short-term encouragement to buy.

Kevin Roberts, director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “From first-time buyers to landlords, we are seeing unprecedented demand from consumers post-lockdown eager to move ahead with home moves and buy-to-let purchases. Many are turning to independent mortgage advisers to find routes onto the ladder and get their housing plans on the move.

“Given the wide-ranging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, the high levels of activity we are seeing in the mortgage market are a sign that the sector remains resilient and has the potential to keep the market buoyant into 2021.

“Yet, despite the numbers of consumers ready to buy, our research shows that thousands of homeowners are still reluctant to sell in 2020. This mismatch between buyers and sellers has the potential to dry up UK housing stock, making it harder for homebuyers to find a new place to call home.

“Supply and demand continues to be a challenge facing the housing market and while the government has already announced its plans to ‘build, build, build’, delivering on its commitments to build thousands more new homes will clearly need to be a priority to meet the demand from hopeful homeowners and landlords.”

Some of the biggest mismatches in supply and demand were seen in London and the South East.

In the capital, 69% planned to buy property in 2020, but just 12% of current homeowners said they would consider selling and 4% definitely planned to sell this year.