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Mismatched buyer demand could see housing stock dry up

Written by: Shekina Tuahene
An imbalance between the number of people wanting to purchase a home and the number of people wanting to sell could result in a lack of housing stock, a survey from Legal & General suggests.

The study of 2,106 respondents – 1,097 UK homeowners and 1,009 UK prospective first-time buyers – found a quarter werdefinitely planning to buy a home this year but just 4% are definitely selling. 

Some 61% of owner-occupiers said they had no intentions to sell in 2020 while 12% were considering moving but had no plans. 

Of the prospective buyers, a further 28% said they were thinking of purchasing this year. 

Regional demand 

London and the South East had the biggest mismatches in supply and demand, the survey showed. 

In London, 69% of respondents said they planned to buy property this year but just 12% of owners were considering selling. Some 4% had definite plans to sell. 

For those in the South East, 57% are looking to purchase this year and 12% have intentions to sell. 

In Wales, 50% of respondents were planning to buy in 2020, compared to 11% of homeowners who said they were planning to sell. In Scotland, 49% of respondents were planning to buy property and 17% wanted to sell.  

The smallest gap between buyers and sellers was found in the South West, where 52% of people planned to buy and 23% planned to sell.  

Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “From first-time buyers to landlords, we are seeing unprecedented demand from consumers post-lockdown eager to move ahead with home moves and buy-to-let purchases. 

Yet, despite the numbers of consumers ready to buy, our research shows that thousands of homeowners are still reluctant to sell in 2020. This mismatch between buyers and sellers has the potential to dry up UK housing stock, making it harder for homebuyers to find a new place to call home.  

He added: “Supply and demand continues to be a challenge facing the housing market and while the government has already announced its plans to ‘build, build, build’, delivering on its commitments to build thousands more new homes will clearly need to be a priority to meet the demand from hopeful homeowners and landlords.” 

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