Property supply stagnates in UK, as new property listings slow

Taylor Scott International News

Property supply stagnated in the UK in April, with new property listings across the country rising just 0.5% compared with the previous month, the latest supply index shows. This comes on top of a 4% fall in supply recorded in March, according to the date from the index from HouseSimple which tracks the number of new properties marketed every month in more than 100 major towns and cities across the UK and all London boroughs. Although more than half, some 60%, of towns and cities actually saw an increase in supply last month, in many areas the increase was marginal and some of the UK’s most populated towns and cities experienced large falls in new property listings in April. New property listing dropped the most in Inverness, Scotland, down 29.1%. Supply was down 22.6% in Hereford, down 22.3% in the London borough of Wandsworth, down 19.2% in Rugby, down 18.6% in Chichester and down 16.9% in Ipswich. London did not see much of a change with listing down by 0.8% while the biggest increase was in Bexley with a rise of 58.9%, in Winchester new listings were up 35.6%, up 25.4% in Southport, up 24.5% in Maidstone and up 23.1% in Chelmsford, up 21.2% in Bradford and up 20.9% in Swansea. In the rest of London Ealing saw a rise in new listings of 43.4%, Tower Hamlets up 37.2%, Greenwich up 27.6%, Barnet up 25.7%, Westminster up 18.4% and Lambeth up 15.1%. However, more than half of London’s 32 boroughs saw a month on month decline in supply, highlighting the ongoing shortage of new properties being marketed in London. ‘Although 60% of UK’s towns and cities saw an increase in property supply in April, these rises weren’t nearly material enough to make a dent in the stock shortage. There’s simply not enough new stock coming onto the market to meet demand,’ said Alex Gosling, the online estate agents’ chief executive officer. He pointed out that April saw the stamp duty hike on second homes at the start of the month feed through to a massive rise in the supply of rental properties. ‘The residential sales market could do with a similar spurt in supply. However, there is a possible knock on effect for the sales market,’ he said. ‘with an expected drop off in buy to let investors purchasing properties because of the 3% surcharge on second homes and buy to let properties, this may help to redress slightly the demand supply imbalance, offering first time buyers in particular opportunities to purchase, until the supply tap is turned on again,’ he explained. But any hope of a prolonged period of rising supply could be affected by uncertainty over the referendum on the future of the UK in the European Union which is just a month away. ‘We may well see a spike in supply in May as home owners try to sell their properties before the vote on 23 June, but supply could well dry up… Taylor Scott International

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