Stock levels crash but price hikes take a seasonal pause

  • The total stock of property for sale, which was already at unprecedented low levels, has diminished by a further 16% since December last year.
  • Asking prices remain unchanged overall since last month.
  • The average annual home price appreciation for England and Wales rises further to 8.0%, driven by lack of supply and cheap borrowing.
  • Typical time on market is 104 days across England and Wales; six days less than in December 2014.
  • Vigorous price hikes in East of England home prices have outpaced Greater London over the last six months.
  • Supply of property entering the market indicates alarming annual declines
in all regions, with the harshest shortages in London, the South East, West Midlands, Scotland and, most severely, in the East of England.
  • Prices dipped in the East, North East, North West, South East, South West, Wales and Yorkshire during the last month.

The UK property marketplace continues to contract as supply diminishes, according to the Home.co.uk Asking Price Index for December 2015.

Currently, there are 47% fewer properties for sale than in Dec 2007. Shortages of stock for sale are worst in the regions where prices are rising the quickest, creating a vicious circle of spiralling price hikes.

Last month, around 12,000 (15%) fewer properties entered the marketplace compared to November 2014, thereby accelerating the already well-established downward trend in stock levels. In turn, this lack of supply has driven overall annual price gains back up to 8.0%, despite the seasonal slowdown.

In the East of England, where price rises have eclipsed London and the South East over the last six months, the number of properties entering the market has fallen by 20% over the past 12 months. Moreover, there are 74% fewer properties entering the market in this region than there were back around the peak of the last property boom in 2007.

The typical time on market for England and Wales has also been reduced by the imbalance between demand and supply; currently 104 days, which is six days less than a year ago.

Overall, the current mix-adjusted average asking price for England and Wales is now 26.5% higher than it was in December 2010.

Significant additional upward pressure on this headline figure will come from the Midlands and the South West, as well as from London, the East and the South East of England over the course of 2016, as competition in these regions intensifies for the limited stock available.

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