Comment: The future’s bright, despite the market’s sluggish current state

The local market is sluggish - but there could be a light at the end of the tunnel. Picture: Getty I

The local market is sluggish - but there could be a light at the end of the tunnel. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

News of the current housing supply shortage will come as no surprise to anyone who’s been looking to buy lately.

The latest Rightmove House Price Index reveals that 14.9 per cent fewer UK sellers put their homes on the market last month compared to the same period a year ago - the biggest year-on-year dip in more than a decade.

Speaking as a Rightmove obsessive who refreshes the site roughly every two minutes in the hope of finally catching sight of her dream home, I can confirm that the stats match up to my sorry personal experience. To say things have been sluggish is an understatement.

A quick search of new properties that have come to the market in the last 24-hours reveals just 12 in St Albans (including London Colney), 10 in Stevenage and four in Hatfield.

I can certainly see why people may be reluctant to sell at present - all this talk of doom-and-gloom Brexidst, not to mention the upcoming General Election isn't exactly reassuring, and November isn't traditionally seen as a good time to sell.

Similar doom-mongering was going on earlier this year, leading more than one person to question whether we were doing the right thing putting our house on the market. Against the odds and despite the wider political uncertainty, we managed to sell pretty quickly for a price we were happy with.

We're now in an excellent position to buy when something suitable does come along - who doesn't like a chain-free buyer - but when-oh-when will this be?!

Another set of stats suggests that the longer-term future looks bright: according to Savills' latest five-year forecast, the East of England is set to experience house price growth of 10.9 per cent between now and 2024.

Hopefully this encouraging news will mobilise some of the ditherers who've been holding off making their move for fear of prices plummeting, allowing us to finally make ours.