A survey carried out by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found 8% more surveyors noted a decrease in new homes being registered for sale, a trend which began at the start of 2014. RICS members reported that over the last six months buyer demand has outstripped supply driving house prices to rise.
Just under 50% of surveyors said they had seen house prices rise in November with prices rising at the fastest pace in East Anglia, the South East and the East Midlands.
In London, the rate of house price growth has continued to slow for the fourth consecutive month. RICS members believe the Stamp Duty Land Tax reforms, which saw buyers of £1m-plus homes stung with a higher tax bill, are holding back prices in some areas of London and the South East.
Some respondents believe the lack of stock is holding back transaction levels as agreed sales remain flat across the UK in November. Despite the current shortage of homes coming onto the market, surveyors are optimistic that valuation activity will pick up.
Members’ reasons for a positive outlook stem from housing polices announced in this year’s Autumn Statement. The Chancellor unveiled a London-focussed Help to Buy equity loan scheme as well as changes to the current eligibility requirements for shared ownership schemes and the Starter Homes initiative.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “I can’t recall a set of comments in the residential survey which have so frequently drawn attention to lack of stock on the market. Given this, it is hard not to envisage prices continuing to climb upwards as we move through the early stages of 2016.
“It remains to be seen how successful the government’s latest set of initiatives will be in driving up the rate of new build but with the best will in the world, it is likely that the boost to demand will come through rather more rapidly than the expansion of the development pipeline.”