UK house prices: The number of homes on the market has halved in the past 10 years, say estate agents

Emma Haslett
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Attention househunters: it's about to get rough out there.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has said the number of homes available to buyers fell to 37 per estate agent branch in December, the lowest figure for 2015 - and half the number available at the same time in December 2005.

The figures also showed the number of people who want to buy a home rose, with 374 househunters registering at each branch, up from 360 in December 2014 - and 302 in December 2005. To be fair, though, it's down slightly compared with November last year, when 403 people registered.

Read more: Why Hounslow is a top pick for first-time buyers

The news comes on the same day that Nationwide warned of an impending acceleration in UK house price growth, as low supply combines with record-low interest rates and low unemployment to create a house-buying frenzy.

“While we expect figures for supply and demand to be seasonally low in December, 2015 overall does not paint a positive picture for the housing market," said Mark Hayward, the NAEA's managing director.

"Supply of housing is half of what it was 10 years ago, yet the number of home buyers on the books has been gradually increasing. When there is such a huge and widening gap between supply and demand, a level playing field seems further out of reach for many would be house buyers.”

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