Newmarket, Suffolk has been named as the town with the biggest property supply shortage hotspot, seeing the biggest gap between the number of homes selling and new sellers coming to market.
The number of sales being agreed in the town – synonymous with horse racing – has galloped by 79 per cent on last July, while new sellers putting their properties on the market is down 49 per cent.
Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire is in second place, seeing an increase of 58 per cent in sales being agreed, and a drop of 57 per cent in new sellers according to the research by property website Rightmove, which covers the last year.
Rightmove has revealed the new supply shortage hotspots, which have the biggest gap between the number of homes selling and new sellers coming to market
This three-bedroom semi-detached house in Newmarket is for sale via estate agents Morris Armitage for £297,500
Witney in Oxfordshire takes the third spot with sales up 51 per cent and new sellers down 59 per cent.
Rightmove said all of the top 10 supply shortage hotspots are in the South East and East of England and likely reflect a fresh desire to escape London for towns that are still commutable to the capital.
High demand is translating into higher average house prices. Newmarket, Berkhamsted and Bushey have seen prices up 9 per cent since 2019.
The stock shortage is being felt across the country, with the average available number of homes per estate agent on Rightmove dropping from 29 in July last year to currently only 16 properties.
Around two third of properties have already found a buyer, and some of the hotter areas, such as Newmarket, are seeing a higher rate of three quarters of homes already sold subject to contract.
This three-bedroom terrace property in Berkhamsted is for sale for £725,000 via Oakleys estate agents
|% drop in number of new sellers versus July 2020||% rise in number of sales agreed versus July 2020||Average Asking Price July 2021||Average Asking Price July 2019||Average Asking Price change versus July 2019|
|High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire||-53%||55%||£363,245||£349,043||4%|
|St. Ives, Cambridgeshire||-56%||49%||£308,187||£294,018||5%|
Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘If we think back to July last year the market in England had been open again for around six weeks, the stamp duty holiday was announced, and a summer frenzy was just beginning.
‘Twelve months on, the combination of fewer sellers coming to market and sustained demand has resulted in a summer seller shortfall, and so the challenge for agents now is to try and replenish the stock to meet the demand from buyers.
‘For those considering coming to market this year, now could be the time to find out what your home could be worth from a local agent.’
This two-bedroom terrace house in Witney is being sold via Thomas Merrifield estate agents for £495,000
Estate agents in the supply shortage hotspots confirmed the findings, saying completion is high for homes for sale.
Neil Harris, of estate agents Cheffins in Newmarket, said: ‘There’s a real shortage of houses for sale which means that for every property that does come available, we see huge levels of interest.
‘We’ve consistently benefitted from Cambridge’s house price growth, and as Cambridge becomes increasingly expensive, coupled with its fast-growing population and booming economy, buyers have continually looked to move to Newmarket in search of more space for their money.
‘Similarly, as the days of the five-day a week commute appear to be coming to an end, we’ve seen a growth in buyers from London coming to the area, seeking out countryside and village homes at lower price tags.
As the international home for horseracing, Newmarket’s strict planning policies have kept new developments to a minimum, which has exacerbated the shortage of available stock.
Neil Harris – estate agent
‘Now would be a good time for would-be sellers to test the market. With the summer holidays coming to an end we are entering a busy period throughout the autumn as people look to move ahead of Christmas.
‘As the international home for horseracing, Newmarket’s strict planning policies have kept new developments to a minimum, which has exacerbated the shortage of available stock.
‘While there is a handful of new developments around Newmarket, we don’t anticipate a huge amount of development in the pipeline, which will result in prices continuing to grow.’
It follows Zoopla reporting last week that the property market is facing the worst shortage in fresh listings since 2015.
While buyer demand remains strong, stock levels are down more than 26 per cent compared to last year’s average – leaving prospective buyers battling it out for the most in-demand properties, it said.
It added that total listings are also 33 per cent lower than they were this time in 2018 and 2019. One in 20 UK homes changed hands over the past year, compared to one in 25 two years ago.