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Why shortage of homes for sale is hitting housing market

Huddersfield estate agent says lack of choice is causing housing market to stall

Demand continues to outstrip supply in the West Yorkshire housing market, says a report.

The latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said the number of homes on estate agents’ books had hit a record low while sales activity was “losing momentum” and did not look likely to pick up “any time soon.”

Alex McNeil, of Bramleys in Huddersfield, said: “We saw a flurry of pre-holiday completions which demonstrates that confidence remains within the sales market, but it still continues to be held back by a dearth in supply.”

The RICS said price growth and sales activity across the Yorkshire housing market was subdued during July.

Only 16% of chartered surveyors in the region saw house prices rise while the number of homes on agents’ books fell to a new all-time low. Agents reported an average of 46 homes on their books during July – against an average of 77 homes in July, 2014. Demand from potential buyers rose moderately during July with 12% of respondents reporting a rise in buyer enquires against just 4% in June.

Alex McNeil, director of Bramleys estate agents.

The main factor holding back the market continued to be a “sustained deterioration” in the flow of fresh listings, with new instructions to sell dwindling for the 17th consecutive month.

In the lettings market, 16% of respondents reported an increase in rental demand, but landlord instructions continued to fall.

Mr McNeil said: “Demand in the rental market remains strong and we’re seeing multiple applications for the better stock, which is a recipe for future rental growth.”

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