Housing shortage crisis: Three hardest places in Britain to buy a house – is your area one

Martin Roberts discusses the rise in house prices

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Elements such as the stamp duty holiday, change in lifestyle for millions and pent-up demand following last year’s lockdown closures have all brought an unprecedented wave of purchasers to the property market. But some areas are much more difficult to buy in than others as the market imbalance deepens.

Newmarket in Suffolk has been revealed as the current centre of the supply shortage.

Agreed sales in Newmarket, which is some 60 miles north of London, this July surged 79 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

Meanwhile, the number of new sellers putting their homes up for sale fell by 49 percent.

Sellers have taken advantage of the supply gap and have hiked local asking prices by an incredible nine percent since July 2019.

Across the country, two-thirds of listed properties in July had already found a buyer.

In Newmarket, three in four properties were sold subject to contract.

Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire is the second most difficult place to buy currently according to the Rightmove research.

Sales in July grew 58 percent year-on-year while new sellers collapsed by a staggering 57 percent.

In Witney, Oxfordshire, sales jumped 51 percent while the level of vendors fell 59 percent.

The demand for homes following the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020 has sent the market into overdrive, as sellers of large properties delay plans to downsize and buyers desperate for somewhere more spacious to live.

The misery for buyers doesn’t seem like it will end anytime soon according to experts, with prices expected to remain high and demand in turn also remaining high.

Nathan Priestley, chief executive officer of Leeds-based developer, Priestley Homes, told Express.co.uk: “We predict that house prices will remain consistent for the rest of the year, with a possible rise in prices from 2022.

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“This is due to supply and the current lack of housing across the board, with COVID-19 still affecting construction delivery into Q4 this year.

“This is a long-term knock-on effect of the building work that was suspended during the first national lockdown.”

Mr Priestly explained the COVID-19 pandemic has “caused a domino effect”.

This has meant there is now “a 12-month gap of lower delivery starting this year and going into next. “

He continued: “Housing usually has a 12-month grace period for construction to proceed. If projects didn’t progress last year as planned, homes won’t be delivered this year.

“Taking buyers into account, people have opted to extend their time in their current residence, avoiding moving house during the peak of the pandemic.

“As a result, this means less property uptake on the market.”

Adding to the upheaval in the market, Mr Priestly said there is “a substantial amount of available cash and credit in the market.”

The property expert explained: “Lending is becoming cheaper and much more accessible, meaning more buyers are entering the fray.

“When you combine all the above factors with the lack of supply and increased demand, alongside basic economics – prices will increase.”

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