Lowest levels ever of new listings for estate agents

Rightmove are reporting a listings drought with just 36,433 properties coming on to the site per week.  These are the lowest levels recorded over the last ten years, since the site started measuring the market.
Whilst the first week of 2012 saw asking prices rise by 1.4 per cent, prices are still down on the month by 0.8 per cent.  This is an early indication that a seller shortage might underpin prices during 2012.
There is, however, a surge in search activity with 44 million property searches between 1st and 10thJanuary, up 27 per cent.
Asking prices are broadly the same as last year, only up by 0.4 per cent, but still way above actual selling prices.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove Director, commented:
“Old records are being shattered as search activity is up by a staggering 27% on this time last year. Potential buyers and sellers are looking more often and researching more thoroughly. In areas where there is a lot of property up for sale, buyers are looking hard for properties that tempt them with something really special in terms of value, potential, location or quality of finish. If it doesn’t shout ‘special’ then they are unlikely to overpay for the privilege of buying an average property in these mortgage-constrained times. In locations where there is little stock for sale, they appear to have become online junkies, ready to pounce on fresh property coming to market to see if it will satisfy their housing need. This search-addiction is in part caused by each estate agency branches currently listing an average of less than one new property per week, an all-time low and around half of pre-credit crunch levels. The market is stuck in a low transaction volume pit that will be hard to escape from without the mortgage funding to satisfy what appears to be strong pent-up demand.”
London has also been hit by the drought.  New listings are down 12 per cent when compared to last year but, as is usually the case with London, any shortage will likely fuel an increase in asking prices.
Asking prices in London are up 6.1 per cent but in the rest of the country are down 1.7 per cent.
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