House buyers should prepare to grow a thicker skin as latest figures show there are 10 buyers for every property for sale in the UK.
According to the National Association of Estate Agents, the gap between the number of possible buyers and the number of properties for sale is growing and with that fueling the housing crisis.
This comes just after a warning that house prices will soar 50% to an average of £420,000 over the next decade.
The NAEA revealed a rise in house hunters of 20%. An average of 493 hunters were registered at every estate agency during the last count in November, up from 336 in the month before.
During the same period of time, the number of average properties managed by each branch dropped from 43 in October to 41 in November.
The outlook for first-time buyers is particularly bad, as they will continue to feel squeezed out of the property market due to the lack of affordable housing.
Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said: “It’s very normal at this time of year that demand is high and supply is low. House hunters hoping to find their dream property in the New Year have registered interest with agents. But supply is outweighing demand so heavily now that it can’t solely be attributed to seasonality.”
“It’s clear that we’re faced with a crisis here: the housing market needs addressing as a matter of urgency.”
“House prices are set to rise by 50 per cent – and if we don’t act now, this will impact first-time buyers, second steppers and last steppers, forcing many out of home ownership.”
This warning comes despite the Government’s announcement for new Starter Homes that are set to allow first-time buyers under the age of 40 to buy a home at a 20% discount.
Experts suggest that these measures aren’t sufficient to correct the issues in the market.
Mr Hayward continued: “It’s all very well planning to build houses, but we need to move to action and get and the bricks and mortar on the ground, if we’re to solve the crisis we’re faced with.”
And Stuart Gregory, managing director of mortgage brokers Lentune, said: “These figures fire a warning shot to David Cameron and George Osborne.
It’s easy to talk about building more houses but until we see action the problem will only get worse.”
“Such supply and demand issues only make house prices stronger, and combined with interest rates being held low by the Bank of England it’s a cocktail which the Government seem unable to control.”
Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage brokers Anderson Harris, said: “Despite the plethora of competitive mortgage deals available, buyers still have it tough because they are struggling to actually find a property they wish to purchase, at a price that they can afford.”
The shortfall of appropriate accommodation is making it a highly competitive market while the spring is likely to be even busier than usual due to the higher stamp duty for landlords from April.
“First-time buyers may well find even more purchasers in the market than usual, while stock levels show no sign of significantly increasing.”
Andrew Montlake, director at mortgage brokers Coreco, said: “With supply still at drastic lows and demand still strong for property there is no surprise that first-time buyers are facing an uphill struggle to battle it out for a property.”
“Whether this eases as buy-to-let buyers drop out of the fight come April remains to be seen, but the only real way to combat these issues is to increase the supply of property that people can actually buy.”
Source: Daily Mail