Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

What does the future hold for housing supply? – Robert Ulph MARLA MNAEA

From admin on April 17, 2017

Each month the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA Propertymark) publishes their report on the housing market and the most recent one reported that housing supply is at its lowest level for March since records began.

Properties which were available to buy on agents’ books, the reports states, went down to an average of 39 in March, from 44 the previous month. Year on year, supply is down 28% as agents had 54 properties available to market in March 2016.

As the housing market heads into the uncertainty that the General Election will inevitably bring, it will be interesting to monitor this situation closely. Usually statistics show a fall in activity running up to an election, as buyers postpone or shelve purchases until the uncertainty passes, but as we are seeing this downturn in advance of Theresa May calling the snap election is a concern.

So how will housing supply be tackled? It is generally acknowledged that the Government’s target commitment to build one million homes by 2020 will be missed, unless radical reform takes place. In the Housing White Paper, launched in February, the Government reported that at least 250,000 new homes are needed each year to keep pace with demand and urged local councils and developers to ‘get real’ to the scale of the challenge.

The housing strategy for England, set out in the Paper, included forcing councils to plan for their own needs and giving them powers to pressurise developers to start building on land they own. Measures were announced which also included reducing the time allowed between planning permission and the start of building from three to two years; using a £3bn fund to help smaller building firms, including support for off-site factory construction and providing a ‘lifetime ISA’ to help first-time buyers save for a deposit.

Lobby groups have also called on the Government to support the buy-to-rent sector and for public bodies to commission small companies to build houses.

“There are currently 10 house-hunters chasing each available property, and with supply at the lowest level for March since records began, building more homes to satisfy demand needs to be a priority,” commented Mark Hayward, Chief Executive NAEA Propertymark.

“The upcoming General Election is a good opportunity for each party to outline their plans for tackling the housing crisis – we hope to see it prioritised so we can make the market a better place once and for all.”

So, we will watch with interest what policy proposals for housing construction and infrastructure, the parties put forward. We’re also waiting to find out what will happen to the tenant fees consultation, but as its already started, we expect it to continue but we are seeking clarification on this.

I will continue to work closely with both NAEA Propertymark and ARLA Propertymark to keep you updated on our local property market, but please do contact me if you would like any further discussion on this or anything else on property.