Housing supply still restricted as booming demand raises prices across the country

DESPITE renewed activity in the property market, the number of houses for sale in the UK has actually fallen over the past six month, according to a new survey of estate agents and surveyors.

Figures released by Hometrack today show that, in the six months to November, the supply of housing for sale fell 0.6 per cent.

During the same period, demand has jumped 10.2 per cent, with the most significant imbalance visible in the capital.

The proportion of postcodes where house prices rose last month has reached 45.8 per cent, the highest in nearly a decade. During the same period, only 3.2 per cent recorded falling prices.

In London, the typical amount of time that a house spends on the market is less than half the national average. A property usually takes less than four weeks to sell in the capital, while outside of the south of England the average wait is over 10 weeks.

London sellers are also most likely to sell at their asking price: on average, homes in the city are bought for 97.7 per cent of their asking price, in comparison to 95 per cent across the country.

Hometrack’s director of research, Richard Donnell, said that last week’s withdrawal of the Bank of England’s Funding of Lending scheme for mortgages could have a major effect on the market, bringing an end the record-low rates that have driven demand.