January 2016 saw the supply of available housing at its lowest level for 14 years, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
The number of properties available per member estate agency branch fell to 33 in January, the lowest number recorded since December 2002, when there were only 25 properties available per member branch.
But what else was happening in 2002? Labour were still in power, Tony Blair was firmly entrenched as Prime Minister, Arsenal won the Premier League and FA Cup double, Brazil won the World Cup in Japan & South Korea (after knocking England out in an all too predictable quarter final exit) and Brighton and Hove Albion completed back to back title winning promotions to take them into what was then still known as the First Division.
Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, Nelly and Gareth Gates (remember him?) were dominating the music charts, Harry Potter, James Bond, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars were dominating the box office and I’m a Celebrity first appeared on our screens (has it really been that long?!) The average house price in Brighton was around £169,000 – it’s now nearly £300,000 – and Brighton was still eight years away from voting in Caroline Lucas as the UK’s first Green Party MP.
The NAEA’s findings also showed that, while supply fell, demand for housing soared in January. There was an average of 453 house hunters registered per branch, the highest number witnessed since July 2015 and a huge 21% increase on December 2015.
The number of first-time buyers also rose in the first month of this year, with almost a third of all sales made in January attributed to this demographic, a rise of 5% from December 2015.
The recent introduction of more government schemes to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder is only likely to increase this number further in the coming months.
A shortage of stock is, of course, great news for sellers or those thinking of putting their house on the market. When demand massively outstrips supply, sellers have more wriggle room on negotiations, a larger pool of potential buyers to choose from and a greater chance of achieving their asking price or above.
The supply/demand imbalance looks set to continue for a good while yet, so sellers will be in a position of strength for the foreseeable future.
Making sure your home looks attractive, getting your marketing strategy right, utilising a good mix of traditional and online advertising and leaning on the advice of an experienced, knowledgeable estate agent (of which we have plenty at Mishon Mackay) will all improve your chances of getting your home sold for the best price possible.
For more information about what we can do for you, please contact Marc Cox on 01273 416732.
To find out how much your property could be worth in the current marketplace, you can check out our free and instant online valuation tool.