Housing Market Hits lowest level Since 1978
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) warns of an "acute shortage of supply" as Britain's ageing population of home owners moves less frequently and focuses instead on helping their children on to the housing ladder.
Each surveyor had just 52 for-sale properties on the books in May, the organisation found, the lowest monthly figure registered in nearly four decades.
Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at Rics, said- in part thanks to Government policies such as the Help to Buy scheme - prices should resume a sharp upward trajectory, having slowed ahead of the election.
The findings will intensify the debate about whether sufficient numbers of homes are being built to serve Britain's growing population, he added.
"There had been some hope that the removal of political uncertainty would encourage more properties onto the market, but the initial indications are that this is not proving to be the case," Simon Rubinsohn said.
"It is hardly surprising that prices across much of the country are continuing to be squeezed higher with property set to become ever more unaffordable."
Experts said people ageing in better health were staying in their homes for longer, leading to fewer family homes going on the market. The situation was being exacerbated by a lack of "suitable" retirement properties, they added.
Parents, whether middle aged or retired, were "acutely aware" of the difficulties their children faced in buying their first home - and were diverting funds and attention to that aim, rather than seeking to move.
“Could also be that people are now extending properties rather than moving” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.