Propertymark: Chicken egg issue behind dramatic fall in housing stock

Potential sellers are wary of putting their properties on the market without somewhere to move to because of a lack of available stock – compounding the issue.

Propertymark found that June housing stock was 40% lower than in January, as there are only 23 properties per estate agency branch.

As a result there are an estimated 19 buyers competing for every property.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said: “Sellers have seen the headlines about the huge demand and are nervous about joining the market and selling quickly with nowhere to go.

“Firstly, if you are serious about buying in the current market it’s all about being in a position to proceed.

“Very few people can buy without selling, so having a buyer waiting gives you an edge over those you may be competing with.

“If you wait to find a property before putting your house on the market, the likelihood is the property will already have been sold by the time you secure an offer.

“It’s also important to remember that the average time being taken for a sale is around 16 weeks to exchange, that’s 4 months and the likelihood of not finding an onward property in that time is very small.”

The number of properties per branch is lower than previous years, as there were 38% more homes available in June 2019 and 2020 compared to June this year.

In July 2020 the stamp duty holiday was introduced, which has served to fire up market demand in an environment where sellers are cautious about putting homes on the market.

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