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Housing supply falls back across much of the UK

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Wed 08 Nov 2017

Housing supply falls back across much of the UK

A boost in housing supply in the UK recorded in September was short lived with the latest data showing that property listing fell again in October across much of the country.

Supply was down in 75% of towns and cities compared with the previous month and down overall by 4.3% and by 1.2% in London, according to the research from online agents HouseSimple.

In Wolverhampton the number of new listings has now fallen for five months in a row and the biggest fall in October was in Torquay with listings down by 37.4%, followed by Oxford with a fall of 37% and Lichfield down 31.5%.

In contrast Luton saw the biggest rise in new listings with supply up by 72%, followed by West Bromwich up 70.6%, Lincoln up 68.5%, Salford up 30.3% and Bootle up 27.3%.

In London new listings increased significantly by 40% in September but that has now dropped back to just 1.2%. Only two London boroughs, Ealing and Enfield, saw double digit, up 10.4% and 10.1% respectively.

The biggest fall in listings was in Bromley with a decrease of 10.9%, followed by Greenwich down 9.1%, Westminster down by 8%, Brent down by 7.1% and Kensington and Chelsea down by 7%.

‘A shortage of new properties coming onto the market has been an issue for as long as anyone can remember, and despite a substantial boost in supply in September, levels have lapsed again in October, albeit they only retreated 4.3% which is cause for some optimism,’ said the firm’s chief executive officer Alex Gosling.

‘The housing market is in desperate need of a prolonged period of supply growth rather than isolated months where seller numbers rise, only to fall back the following month. We probably won’t see numbers jump again this year, but steady levels in November and December would at least give the market a strong base going into the New Year,’ he pointed out.

‘The Government can also play its part by delivering a positive Autumn Budget for the UK property market in a couple of weeks’ time. A shake up of the stamp duty tax system would be a good start,’ he added.