Housing stock levels are down 26.4 per cent compared to the 2020 average, as buyer demand has eroded existed supply.
While buyer demand remains strong, up 20.5 per cent, stock supply will remain low into next year, according to the property platform Zoopla’s monthly House Price Index.
The property market is experiencing its greatest stock shortage since 2015, the year when Zoopla’s records began for this metric.
Supply has been dented by a 40 per cent jump in the number of sales last year while eager first time buyers and investors have absorbed stock but not replenished it.
Total stock was down 33 per cent compared to this time in the pre-Covid markets of 2018 and 2019.
Buyer demand means properties are changing hands more quickly, with the average time to sell running at 26 days, down from 49 days in 2019.
This jumps to 56-75 days in the capital city, reflecting a higher level of supply available in London in particular central flats.
A post-pandemic “reassessment of home”, with office-based workers receiving more clarity on post-lockdown working from home, means higher levels of demand will still be evident in future months, Gráinne Gilmore, Zoopla’s head of research, said.
He added: “However, the lack of supply, especially for family houses, means the market will start to naturally slow during the rest of this year and into next year, as buyers hold on for more stock to become available before making a move.”
In 2022, the market will see a return to more usual activity levels among first time buyers, the impact of the stamp duty holiday ending and a flurry of buyers who “slowly” help repair stock levels in the first half.