Eight buyers for every seller in UK property market
This imbalance in supply and demand is showing no sign of abating as the spring market moves closer, with many sellers holding back from putting their property on the market until a suitable property becomes available.
Figures from the London property market have recorded a 38% increase in registered buyer numbers in 2007 when compared to last year, whilst the stock of available properties is down by 50%.
Across the country market, buyers are becoming extremely anxious about securing a new home. With properties launched to the market being snapped up almost immediately, there has been a 67% increase in the number of offers made on properties currently available with vendors securing exceptional prices for their houses.
The month of February also saw a 72% increase in viewings taking place and over 30% more market appraisals, demonstrating the sheer buoyancy of the market.
The continued imbalance in supply and demand is beginning to have a real impact on the areas people are looking to buy. Across the South West, the more affordable locations in the region such and Stroud and Malmesbury are now becoming extremely sought-after. Previously shunned by potential buyers from London and the Home Counties in favour of Bath and Cheltenham, these areas are now receiving considerable interest and regeneration.
This situation has been compounded by the long term structural housing deficit, with the current low rate of property completions resulting in an annual deficit of around 27,000 units over the coming year.
However, despite no change taking place as we move towards the spring market, Hamptons predicts some movement as the launch date for Home Information Packs (HIPs) creeps closer.
According to Julian de La Poer Beresford, Director, South East at Hamptons International, “Given the uncertainty over the launch of the Government’s ‘HIPs’ on the 1st June 2007, I am confident the momentum in the market will slow over the next 12 months, with house price growth settling around 7% for 2007.”