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UK housing shortage means no letup in rising home prices

A chronic shortage of housing in the UK is continuing to place upward pressure on residential property prices, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Surveyors report that demand from buyers is starting to improve once more following the EU vote in June, but with nowhere near enough properties for sale, the supply-demand imbalance in the market is causing home prices to increase across many parts of the country.

In October, surveyors saw price increases outnumber those seeing falls by a majority of 23%, up from 18% in September.


“The dire shortage of available housing across the UK is continuing to push prices upwards, regardless of the uncertainty linked to the ongoing discussions surrounding Brexit,” said RICS chief economist, Simon Rubinsohn (right). 

The government has already launched a new fund to help build 225,000 extra houses, and is expected to announce further measures in a White Paper later this month, possibly to coincide with the Autumn Statement on 23 November.

Reflecting on the RICS’ latest residential market survey, Richard Sexton (below), director of e.surv, said: “With interest rates still at record lows, many buyers are realising that now is an affordable time to borrow. As a result, the market remains resilient and we are seeing a growing number of mortgage approvals for first-time buyers in particular. 

“However, with supply still tight, rising house prices remain a problem. We therefore cannot afford to overlook the ongoing housing shortage in the UK, which continues to eat away at the hopes of many would-be homeowners.


“As the Autumn Statement approaches, many will hope that the chancellor can address these deep-rooted issues in our housing market. Above all else, we need to close the gap between supply and demand and bring home ownership back into reach for the hard-working working Britons.”


Earlier this week, the CBI called for a “step change” in housebuilding if the government is to meet its ambition of delivering one million new build homes by 2020.


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