Government intervention needed to properly address stock issues

Despite demand seeming to ease in the sales market during June, the average number of properties listed by Propertymark's member agents in the first half of the year was 22, down from 30 in 2021 and 37 in 2019, revealing a continued trend of a stock starved housing market and private rented sector.

Property Reporter
1st August 2022
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Propertymark data also shows that an average of 38% of properties were being sold above the asking price in the first half of 2022, up from 24% in 2021 and 5% in 2019.

More letting agents are reporting month-on-month rent increases, with an average of 76% across the first half of 2022 compared to 57% in 2021; 37% in 2019. The number of new prospective tenants registering per member branch continues to increase significantly from 68 in the first half of 2019, to 85 in 2021, and now sits at 98 in 2022.

On the back of Propertymark’s A shrinking private rented sector report, 80% of agents said that the number of landlords leaving had increased over the past three years.

With the latest economic update showing that at a time when the cost of living crisis is taking hold of many people’s finances across the UK, wages are falling at their fastest rate on record whilst the cost of housing is on the up.

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, comments: “Over the past six months, we’ve seen significant shifts in trends that professionals in the sector had been accustomed to.

“Mortgages including buy-to-let, which are on short-term, fixed contracts, have been at historically low-interest rate levels for years but are now rising sharply. Property owners seeing increases in their monthly repayments are having to raise rents. This is leaving many renters in difficulty due to affordability at a time when other costs are also rising.

“Despite inflation and interest rate rises, the sales market has so far continued to remain buoyant during turbulent times with homes under offer extremely quickly. However, with a continued rise in the number of buyers, stock levels need to increase.

“Since 2015, Government figures have shown the private rented sector has been slowly shrinking and latest data from Propertymark members suggests that this is nothing to do with demand from tenants tailing off, but instead is caused by the lack of incentives keeping landlords in the sector.

“As we move into the second half of the year, we hope to see slight increases in the levels of stock but without Government intervention, these will barely scratch the surface of what is needed, as population growth continues to outpace house building rates.”

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