As the property market heats up this spring, the gap between supply and demand only increases. Both homebuyers and renters are facing shortages as estate agents report higher numbers of seekers with fewer properties available.
House Hunters Rising
Many estate agency branches are reporting increases in the period from December to January. The number has risen 22% with an average of 382 house hunters registered per branch. During the same period, the number of homes listed per branch fell from 41 to 38.
With the spring budget on the horizon, many in the industry are hopeful housing will be addressed. The stamp duty and other financial burdens that have made moving more expensive, which likely wasn’t helping with the downturn in the housing market.
Problems for Renters
People looking to buy homes aren’t the only ones struggling. The increasing numbers of renters are facing a housing shortage, particularly in rural areas where rental properties are less common. Many under 30s simply can’t afford to buy a home. The average UK home price has raised over £250,000 and it’s expected to have a 15% down payment.
Given that the average salary is just under £37,000 and a third of people don’t even have £1,500 in the bank with little or no savings to speak of, many people find homeownership out of reach. New regulations have also made many landlords, particularly those in the Buy to Let market leave the market.
Time to Jump Into the Market?
Many investors are going to be looking into the market given just how high the demand is rising. While new laws make rental properties slightly riskier, the returns are obvious. Student housing will always be needed, as well as affordable housing for young people and young families who can’t afford the jump into rainfall mortgages. If housing becomes a priority of the current government, then new laws should make the market even more tempting for central landlords with quality housing to offer.
What does this all mean?
For anyone looking to buy their own home, they’ll face more competition. People looking to rent are also in for high competition in the near future. High charges for moving will also put more pressure on anyone looking to relocate.
Anyone looking to get into becoming a landlord might find this a good time to jump in. Both the Buy to Let market and the standard rental market are wide open for new properties. High demand means prices can be a bit higher. Just keep in mind that wages are only so high and you can’t price yourself out of the market.
For estate agents, they’ll be incredibly busy. Keeping on top of this demand will require lots of work and good estate agent software. The high numbers will mean high competition and increased frustration for house hunters.
With all this in mind, everyone in the market should keep on top of the trends and be ready for whatever the spring budget will mean for the future. Estate agents will be working harder and should be sure their estate agent software is up to the task. Investors will certainly be happy for as long as the demand continues.