Housing supply fears as growth hits record low

OFFICIAL figures yesterday showed that the net supply of housing in England this year rose by the lowest number since records began over a decade ago.

Net additions rose by just 124,270 in 2012-2013, a fall of eight per cent since 2011-12 and 44 per cent below the 2007-08 peak, according to the figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The rise is the lowest since the series began in 2000-01 when net housing supply increased for seven consecutive years before beginning to decline.

The largest component of net supply was new build completions, which made up 95 per cent of the net change in homes.

The picture varied across England. London presented a mixed picture, with 18 out of 33 London boroughs showing some level of decrease compared to 2011-12 and 15 having increases.

The data was released ahead of figures today from LSL Property Services showing property transactions in October were the highest for that month since 2007.

Over 79,000 properties were sold during the month, which marked the fourth consecutive monthly rise.

Transactions are up 24 per cent across England and Wales between the third quarter in 2012 and the same three months this year, with increases in sales recorded across the country.

In terms of prices, greater London leads the pack, with prices up by 7.9 per cent in the year to October. The strongest increase was registered in the City, where homes are selling for a colossal 34.8 per cent more.

According to the group, house prices overall rose by 4.3 per cent in the year to last month, the second fastest pace recorded in the year so far. Prices are 0.6 per cent higher than they were in September alone, rising while incomes stay largely flat.