Government intervention crucial to tackle low housing stock

Propertymark has analysed its property market insights reports which show a continued trend of a stock starved housing market and private rented sector and a rise in demand.

Despite seeing the first indications that high demand is easing in the sales market in the UK in June, the average number of properties listed by member agents was 22 reported in the first half of this year, down from 30 in 2021 and 37 in 2019.

An average of 38 per cent of properties were being sold above asking price in the first half of 2022, up from 24 per cent in 2021 and 5 per cent in 2019.

More letting agents are reporting month-on-month rent increases, with an average of 76 per cent across the first half of 2022 compared to 57 per cent in 2021; 37 per cent in 2019.

The number of new prospective tenants registering per member branch continues to increase significantly from 68 in the first half of 2019, to 85 in 2021, and now sits at 98 in 2022.

On the back of Propertymark’s ‘A shrinking private rented sector’ report, 80 per cent of agents said that the number of landlords leaving had increased over the past three years.

With the latest economic update showing that at a time where the cost of living crisis is taking hold of many people’s finances across the UK, wages are falling at their fastest rate on record whilst the cost of housing is on the up.

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark comments:

“Over the past six months, we’ve seen significant shifts in the trends that professionals in the sector had been accustomed to.

“Mortgages including buy-to-let, which are on short term, fixed contracts, have been at historically low interest rate levels for years but are now rising sharply. Property owners seeing increases to their monthly repayments are having to raise rents. This is leaving many renters in difficulty due to affordability at a time where other costs are also rising.

“Despite inflation and interest rate rises, the sales market has so far continued to remain buoyant during turbulent times with homes under offer extremely quickly. However, with a continued rise in the number of buyers, stock levels need to increase.

“Since 2015, Government figures have shown the private rented sector has been slowly shrinking and latest data from Propertymark members suggests that this is nothing to do with demand from tenants tailing off, but instead is caused by the lack of incentives keeping landlords in the sector.

“As we move into the second half of the year, we hope to see slight increases in the levels of stock but without Government intervention, these will barely scratch the surface of what is needed, as population growth continues to outpace house building rates.”

Propertymark says that this gap in availability is a key contributor to rising house and rental prices and continues its calls on Government to incentivise landlords to invest in the sector and build more homes to meet current demand.

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3 Comments

  1. JMK

    “Government intervention crucial to tackle low housing stock”

    It’s ‘Government intervention’ that’s caused the problem in the first place.

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    1. A W

      Exactly!

      I can see the government intervening to “tackle” the crisis by doing something dumb… like introducing rent control.

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  2. AcornsRNuts

    Since 2015, Government figures have shown the private rented sector has been slowly shrinking and latest data from Propertymark members suggests that this is nothing to do with demand from tenants tailing off, but instead is caused by the DIS-incentives MAKING landlords LEAVE the sector.

    There, fixed it for you.

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