Housing supply declined 5.5% across the UK, 6.8% in London and more than a third in some areas
The number of new listings fell in October, as the latest Property Supply Index by HouseSimple finds that the traditionally busy build-up to Christmas has been more muted this year.
Across the UK, the total number of new properties being listed was 68,598 in October, 5.5% lower than the 72,593 recorded in September. In London, the decline is higher, with new supply down 6.8% whilst just 5 of the 32 boroughs saw an increase in property listings.
A boost in supply coming to market is typical in October, but this year HouseSimple found that new listings were down in over half (59.7) of the 100 towns and cities analysed in their index.
St Helens and Salford, both in the North West of England, saw the biggest overall fall in supply, as listings in these towns declined by 33.8% and 28.0% respectively between September and October.
Conversely, new properties listed rose by 45.3% in King’s Lynn in the East of England, and 38.6% in Lichfield, a city in the West Midlands.
Commenting on the findings, CEO of HouseSimple Sam Mitchell said: “After supply picked up in September, we were hoping this would lead to healthy new stock levels up to Christmas. But the resurgence in listings was rather short-lived as new supply fell again in October, albeit just below 70,000.
“This can hardly be considered a collapse, but stock levels have been bouncing along at the bottom of the barrel for some time now, and no-one seems to know how to boost supply. Building new homes will help in the longer term, and the government has set lofty house building targets, but we need more available stock now, not in three to five years.”
A new five-year strategic plan has been announced by national housing agency Homes England, which seeks to increase property supply by supporting the growth of small-to-medium builders.