There is a shortage of houses across England and Wales. This continued lack of housing has driven house prices up to record levels, with more people being pushed out of the housing market and forced to rent. There have been ten months of consecutive decline in the number of houses listed by estate agents across the country, with an average 21% decline. The county of Gloucestershire has experienced a record fall.
The number of houses for sale in Gloucester has dropped steadily over recent years, with estate agents listing fewer properties than ever before. In the property boom there were an average of 90 houses for sale at each estate agency; today, the contrast is stark, with the number listed dropping by up to 42% around the country.
Fewer people are taking out mortgages and although the government has announced a number of initiatives to help first-time buyers, house prices are expected to rise still higher over the next six months. House prices rose by 6.4% last year and this trend for strong growth is set to continue as demand for houses outstrips supply.
Government initiatives to help home buyers include Chancellor George Osborne’s plan for the creation of 400,000 new homes before 2020. These homes would be sold at a discount of 20 per cent to first-time buyers, while subsidised loans would also be given for 135,000 starter homes under the new shared-ownership scheme; however, as the Guardian reports, some critics have pointed out that there might not be enough bricklayers and other appropriately-skilled workers to undertake this work.
Estate agents such as http://www.tgres.co.uk/for-sale/ are listing fewer properties than a few years ago, with the properties that are listed much higher in price thanks to the 6.4% increase. This jump in house prices has also made potential buyers more reluctant to upgrade their current home and potential first-time buyers are choosing to rent rather than buy a house or flat.
With fewer houses on the market, along with an increase in demand for property as the population expands, people are getting increasingly frustrated. Estate agents and home buyers alike are hoping the government’s plan to create 400,000 new homes will result in a more stable and affordable housing market.