House prices rise as listings fall

The December period regularly sees a lull in listings, yet on a year-by-year basis they are the lowest on record, dropping by 7.48% from December 2012.

The UK average asking price in 2013 was £246,78; 6.13% higher than 12 months ago, while properties in Greater London increased by £52,535.

Robin King, director of Move with Us, said: “The problem right now is the shortage in the supply of new properties coming on to the market. While the government has incentivised building projects by providing a £1bn fund to unlock housing developments, these are predominantly located in the North of the country in places such as Manchester and Leeds.

“Supply also needs to be stimulated in regions such as East Anglia and the South West and in places where there’s considerably higher demand for housing such as the South East, one of the most popular commuter routes into the capital.”

Greater London saw asking prices increase by 4.68% in Q4, while conversely asking prices in Scotland fell to their lowest rate since 2009.

The average asking price in the East Midlands reached the highest level for five years in November, hitting £182,505, while in the South East they rose by 1.03% in Q4.

King added: “The government could consider tax efficient ways to incentivise people with surplus space in their homes to downsize as this would free up family homes and create much needed fluidity in the market.

“Motivating people to sell second homes will also release existing stock back into the housing market. However, larger scale development is really where the difference can be made, like in the great depression of the 1930s when we managed to build 400,000 new properties per year.”