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Housing supply continuing to dwindle, warns RICS

Housing supply is continuing to dwindle and a slow start to next year is expected due to lack of stock, the RICS said this morning.

November was the ninth consecutive month without an increase in new instructions.

The number of prospective buyers in the UK housing market rose in November for the third consecutive month, but the figure remained historically low.

Only 13% more surveyors reported a rise in new buyer enquiries rather than a fall.

The RICS expects house prices to continue rising across the UK, with the slowest growth in London.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “A key issue for the housing market is the slowdown in transaction activity since the spring which is clearly being reflected in the RICS agreed sales data as well as in official figures.

“Although there are some signs that the numbers may begin to edge upwards in the New Year, the combination of macro uncertainty, the ongoing supply shortfall, with stock levels around historic lows, and the myriad of tax changes impacting on buyers, suggest that any pick-up in activity will be relatively modest.

“This is significant not just for the housing market itself but also for the wider economy, given how much of consumer spending is tied in with home purchases.”

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