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Press release

9 DEC 2021

Supply drought causing grief for growing numbers of future house buyers

RICS UK Residential Market Survey – November 2021

The UK housing market saw another month of declining new listings, which may frustrate the growing number of prospective buyers, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey in November 2021 published today (Thursday 9 December).

Those responding to the November survey reported a net balance of +13% in new buyer enquiries, a slight increase on the +11% reported in October, however there was a net balance fall of -9% in agreed sales – the fifth time in a row a negative result has been reported.

Respondents frequently said the continuing drought in new listings was a significant factor holding back the market nationwide – with a net balance of -18% respondents noting a deterioration for an eighth consecutive month. Additionally, the volume of home appraisals undertaken in November was below that seen in the same month last year, with the latest net balance coming in at - 20%.

A lack of stock is therefore driving competition between prospective buyers, which is resulting in house prices being pushed higher. A net balance of +71% of participants cited an increase prices, which is identical to October’s survey and previous feedback points to house price inflation remaining very consistent over the past four months.

Looking ahead, prices are expected to continue to drift higher at the national level, as a net balance of +66% of contributors envisage prices rising over the next year.

In the lettings market, tenant demand saw another solid monthly increase in November with a net balance of +48% of respondents citing a rise. Meanwhile, landlord instructions fell according to a net balance of -24% of participants. Given this mismatch between rising demand and dwindling supply, rents are anticipated to increase firmly over the near term, returning a net balance +49%. 

Over the next twelve months, respondents project a near 4% growth in rents at the national level, with rental growth expected to average roughly 5% per annum over the next five years.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, said:

“The issue of supply is gathering ever more importance in the feedback to the RICS Residential Market survey. Critically, the theme runs strongly both through the latest set of contributor comments as well as the data around new instructions and the decline in inventory on agents books.

“Unless this trend is reversed soon, transaction levels may flatline in 2022 with limited choice proving more significant than any shift in the interest rate environment for new buyers.

“The imbalance compared to the demand trend is, meanwhile, likely to continue to be a key factor supporting prices and indeed, even if the cost of mortgage finance does begin to edge up, it is likely that house prices will continue to move higher through the coming year, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than over the past twelve months.”


Notes for editors:



Tony Jamieson MRICS, Guildford, Clarke Gammon – “Despite the lack of stock, the market is still active with the correctly priced property getting a lot of interest and selling well. Two-bedroom town centre flats are the exception due to oversupply.”


Chris Gooch MRICS, Winchester, Carter Jonas - “If Omicron proves a threat, demand for houses with gardens in the counties is likely to remain strong”


Oliver Miles FRICS, Swanage, Oliver Miles, - “Sellers are having a good time of it at the moment.  There is very little property coming onto the market, which is driving up prices, but this may slow down approaching Christmas and into the New Year.”


The RICS Residential Market Survey is released on the second Thursday of every month apart from January.


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