Number of homes for sale half pre-recession levels

The number of homes for sale in April was 51% lower than it was in April 2008 according to newly released figures.

According to the property search engine, there were 855,585 on the market in April 2008 compared with 415,038 in April 2016. Even compared with 2010, home.co.uk say the drop is still large, with 26% fewer. Nearly half of that decrease (12%) has come in the past year.

Comparing the number of houses appearing on the market, there is some comfort, with the total number of homes putting up sale boards during the month up 4% to 110,031, suggesting houses are selling quicker than previously. However this is still 7% lower than in April 2010 when 117,803 were put up for sale.

Greater London saw a sharp spike of 22% in supply of new listings when comparing April 2015 and April 2016’s figures but this is still 53% down on April 2008 and 8% down on April 2010’s figures. This shows that despite the recent surge in new listings in the capital, its overheated market is still in dire need of more properties.

Home.co.uk’s latest Asking Price Index also revealed there were price rises in all parts of the UK in May, with the mix-adjusted average asking price for England and Wales jumping 0.8% since April.

Home.co.uk director Doug Shephard said: “The property marketplace is now operating completely differently to how it was back in 2008. The drought has meant prices have headed skywards, but there is so little property passing through the market that large estate agency chains have been issuing profit warnings as they see their turnovers decline.

“Without doubt, the growth of the private rented sector has played a significant part in the supply crisis, as the average home changes hands less frequently than before. Moreover, buy-to-let remains a very popular investment choice in the current economic climate.

“Aside from new build solutions, there are an estimated 1 million unoccupied properties in the UK. The government needs to work out how to get these back into the marketplace.”

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