Property coming to market at record low levels

Property coming to market at record low levels

Despite record levels of search activity on its website this month, estate agency Rightmove reports that the number of new homes being put up for sale has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded.

More than 44 million property searches were carried out on Rightmove’s site during the first ten days of 2012, a 27% increase compared with the first ten days of 2010.

However difficulties in obtaining a mortgage, the shortage of property on the market and a general lack of consumer confidence is deterring potential sellers from marketing their properties.

Estate agents are, on average, marketing less than one new property per week per branch and there are also fewer properties already on the market than there were in the same period last year.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “The market is stuck in a low transaction volume pit that will be hard to escape from without the mortgage funding to satisfy what appears to be strong pent-up demand.”

Rightmove suggests that first-time buyers with good deposits will fare best in the current market, along with house-owners with enough equity to trade up and people selling properties with a unique selling point.

The ‘losers’ in the current market will be people living in rented accommodation and sellers who are unwilling or unable to reduce the price of their property.

Recent news suggests that house-builders are benefiting from a resilient market for new-build properties.

Bovis Homes expects profits to rise significantly this year, helped by an increase in forward bookings of more than a third.

Overall completions in 2011 are expected to be up 8 per cent to 2,045 homes.

Galliford Try reported a 59 per cent increase in completed sales to 1,352 in the second half of 2011, compared with the previous year.

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