Housing stock hits record low

August 11, 2016 / Isla MacFarlane
Housing stock hits record low

A dwindling housing stock continues to cause ripples, with new instructions falling again in the month of July, a survey of chartered surveyors said.

According to RICS Residential Market Survey, 33% per cent of respondents have seen a fall in new instructions and supply is at or around record lows in most parts of the UK.

“Critically, it is hard to escape the stark message regarding supply that is evident in the latest set of results with RICS data showing inventories on agents’ books around historic lows on average,” said Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist for RICS. “This is a long running story that may have been exacerbated by recent events but clearly needs urgent action from the new government.”

Anecdotal reports provided by contributors to the survey suggest both the tax change and the ongoing fall-out from the EU referendum are contributing to the current mood in the market. However, looking into the comments left by members suggests conditions vary markedly between agents. A large portion of respondents note, after an initial wobble, activity has returned to normal, while others feel Brexit has only had a very modest or negligible impact.

“The new Prime Minister has rightly cited housing in her list of priorities and pledged a major house building campaign,” said Jeremy Blackburn, RICS Head of UK policy. “With the RICS residential survey again showing a lack of supply in the housing market across the UK, we need a coherent and coordinated strategy from government that builds on previous plans, and includes strategy for a functional Private Rented Sector (PRS) as an important part of the housing mix.”

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