Home » News » Housing Market » Property market is ‘unsustainable’ claims property boss as stock dwindles
Housing Market

Property market is ‘unsustainable’ claims property boss as stock dwindles

Just weeks after an agency closed down blaming the instruction drought, Propertymark's leader confirms stock levels are at historic lows.

Nigel Lewis

nathan emerson propertymark

The property market has become unsustainable after the number of available properties per estate agent branch fell to a record low of just 21 in October, warns the boss of Propertymark.

Its monthly housing report shows a relentless number of buyers entering the market with an average of 24 per available home. Demand continues to climb as the average number of house hunters registered per branch stood at 511 in October, a 12% increase from 458 in September.

The comments come just a few days after a leading regional estate agency shut up shop, blaming the low level of instruction in part on its demise.

The number of sales made to first-time buyers remained steady at 25%, falling slightly from 28% in September while the number of buy-to-let sales went up from 9% in September to 13%. Sales activity slowed in October, says Propertymark, with agents reporting an average of eight sales agreed per branch, a slight drop from 11 per branch in September.

In October, 55% of properties agreed sales at the original asking price, although for the second consecutive month the number being agreed at over the asking price dropped to 21% from 27% in September.

Lowest level

Propertymark chief executive Nathan Emerson (pictured) says estate agents across the country are working with some of the lowest levels of available homes ever seen, yet demand from buyers is not easing.

“Figures from October show a continuing picture for the housing market which is unsustainable,” he adds.

“Heading into the festive period should take some of the heat out of the market as we know that usual market trends see a decrease in activity as people turn their attention to Christmas.”

Emerson believes that a gentle levelling out in the new year is needed, which could be driven by new year motivations delivering new sellers or changing interest rates taking some of the mounting energy from buyers.

November 28, 2021

One comment

  1. In the early 70’s it took a war in the Middle-East to end a similarly challenging period in property. We had 300 instructions then a few months later we were down to 6. People were spotting us taking photos of houses then calling all the local agents so by the time we had returned to the office they were under offer. No exaggeration, that happened several times. Could we be riding the crest of a wave right now? A rise in interest rates potentially reducing buying power, and talk in the media of homes having bought at inflated prices because of recent conditions might just be enough for the brightest home owners to wonder if getting their home onto the market before the effect of the removal of the Jenga brick of rising rates takes effect, is a good idea. I know that if I was still an agent I’d be dropping that thought into the ears of my potential sellers. Better to sell on the crest then buy on the way down. Everyone must know that this market won’t/can’t last forever. When it pops the bang will be deafening.

What's your opinion?

Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.