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Residential housing stock has fallen 40 per cent since January

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The average estate agency had around 23 properties on sale in June, which is 38 per cent lower than the same month last year, showing that housing stock is becoming scarcer.

According to Propertymark, the UK largest body of estate agents, housing stock has been falling throughout 2021, with the number of properties on the market 40 per cent lower than January this year.

The report noted that this was the lowest recorded for the second month in row, with the number of properties in May reaching a record low of 25 properties.

The previous low was recorded in December 2002 with 25 properties on sale per estate agency.

However, demand has remained high with around 19 buyers chasing each property, which is up from 13 buyers in January.

This has led to an increasing number of properties selling above the asking price, with two in five properties sold for higher than the asking price in June.

According to Propertymark this was the highest on record for the third month in a row with 33 per cent of properties sold in May selling above the original asking price.

The report continued that estate agents said this situation felt similar to the financial crash in 2008 where buyer confidence was low, so they were reluctant to place properties on the market as they would then be under pressure to move.

Propertymark’s chief executive officer Nathan Emerson said that sellers were similarly nervous about joining the market as high demand could mean they sell quickly and have nowhere to go.

He said: “If you are serious about buying in the current market it’s all about being in a position to proceed. Very few people can buy without selling, so having a buyer waiting gives you an edge over those you may be competing with.”

He added that waiting to find a property before putting your house on the market could mean missing out, as the property could be sold by the time a borrower secures an offer.

Emerson also said that it was important to remember that the average time taken for a sale was around 16 weeks, so the likelihood of not finding an onward property was small.

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