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Rightmove reveals 43% slump in stock

Agency stock has plummeted to a record low, with the number of available properties per branch now at just 63.

This is 15% down year-on-year, 43% down on the 89,000 average recorded in 2006 and 2007 and the lowest volume recorded since Rightmove started monitoring the housing market in 2000.

Miles Shipside, commercial director for the portal, says: “Lack of supply has been driven by reduced access to mortgage funds, economic uncertainty and a low level of forced sales. There are also drastically fewer new-build properties coming to market, as many developments were mothballed or cancelled in late 2008 and early 2009, with developers now either unwilling or unable to rebuild their pipelines.”

He adds: “Buyers have little choice in popular areas, and while this continues sellers have a window of opportunity to obtain a higher price and a speedier sale. At present the limited supply of sellers is being outstripped by buyer demand, but we predict there will be more forced selling later in the year.”

Rightmove’s house price index for January, published this morning, reveals that pent-up buyer demand has led to record traffic this month, with 157,402,812 pages viewed between January 4 and 10, up 26% on the first working week of 2009. Shipside says: "Those who held off from selling during 2009 are now researching what competition they face in their local area and assessing which agents might be best placed to sell their property."

The index also reveals the average asking price has increased by 0.4% on the month and 4.1% on the year to £222,261.


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