The UK housing market is experiencing a serious supply shortage, with London facing the most dramatic crisis in the country, according to research unveiled today.
New property listings fell 6.6 per cent across the UK last month, while the number of homes put up for sale in the capital slumped a staggering 24.8 per cent, according to the latest Property Supply Index from online estate agents HouseSimple.com.
Not a single borough in London has seen an overall rise in new property listings since the start of June, with Kensington and Chelsea, home of the super rich, experiencing the biggest drought.
The borough, which encompasses Notting Hill and Knightsbridge, has seen new listings slump by 43.6 per cent over the period.
Other boroughs most affected include Haringey, down 36 per cent, Bexley, down 35.7 per cent, and Camden, down 35.5 per cent.
Outside of London, the area struggling with the biggest supply shortage is Taunton, in Somerset, where the number of properties for sale fell by 31.1 per cent in August.
Lichfield in the West Midlands is not faring much better, where new listings fell 29.3 per cent.
To compile its Property Supply Index, HouseSimple.com looked at the number of new properties listed on Rightmove every month, in more than 100 major towns and cities across the UK and all London boroughs. Less than a quarter of those towns and cities saw new listings rise in August.
“Across the country there are thousands of frustrated buyers, with finance in place, ready to purchase, but the property supply reservoir has dried up,” said Alex Gosling, chief executive of HouseSimple.com.
“They must be scratching their heads as to why sellers aren’t marketing, as there’s no clear or single reason why sellers are sitting on their hands. The General Election was expected to be the catalyst for sellers returning to the market.”
He added: “We would expect to see activity drop off over the summer holidays, so September will give us a better gauge as to how imbalanced supply and demand are right now.
“The hope is that... sellers will rediscover their appetite over the coming months.”