Gap between housing stock and demand continues to fuel prices

Search AcumenBy Legal Futures Associate Search Acumen

UK average house prices increased by 8.9% over the year to April 2021, down from 9.9% in March 2021 (ONS HPI).

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, says: “This latest data indicates the new build premium shows no signs of abating.

“This is despite the monthly drop off, which is likely due to an inflation of March’s growth as people rushed to meet the first anticipated Stamp Duty deadline. Demand in April continued to outstrip the availability of housing stock, contributing to one of the biggest gaps seen in years between the price of new builds and existing properties.

“Our national housing supply squeeze looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, pushing up prices further still. The beneficiaries on the building side are the developers of homes with access to gardens, given that working from home and more flexible working practices are likely to continue in the coming months, driving people to move into bigger homes with access to green space.

“The Stamp Duty stampede is piling pressure onto property professionals who are charged with helping new buyers access homes as quickly as possible. Too often, lawyers are seen as those slowing down the moving process, but many are handicapped by legacy practices that weren’t designed for current volumes of demand or with modern consumer needs in mind. Data can provide an antidote to smooth transaction processes, so lawyers can better advise prospective buyers on the risks involved in their purchase at an earlier stage and clear the path towards completion.”


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