Available housing supply per National Association of Estate Agents branch has halved in 10 years, its December Housing Market report has revealed.
The average number of properties available per branch fell to 37 in December 2015, half the 72 recorded in December 2005.
Mark Hayward, managing director of the National Associate of Estate Agents, said: “Whilst 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.
“Supply of housing is half of what it was 10 years ago, yet the number of homebuyers 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 housebuyers.”
The 3% stamp duty surcharge has resulted in movement in the buy-to-let market, as 44% of NAEA agents reported more housebuyers coming to market to beat the April 1 deadline.
Hayward added: “The issue of lack of supply needs to be solved, but it isn’t going to be done anytime soon.
“We are still waiting to see new homes being built; and whilst we wait, house prices continue to rise.
“There is some potential light for first-time buyers however, once the new tax rate increase in April is in place we may see less investment from buy-to-let or second home investors, which may mean less competition.”