Stressed Gloucestershire estate agents struggle to keep pace as Zoopla report shows demand for properties soars

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Stressed-out estate agents are struggling to keep up with the thirst for property in Gloucestershire.

Demand for family homes in the UK is more than twice as high as usual for this time of year, according to a report by Zoopla.

And agents here said the pressure was on as they tried to cope with fierce competition for properties and a lack of stock.

Despite a 3.5% increase in homes for sale in March, the number of properties put on the market is not keeping pace with demand.

The inventory of homes available for purchase is now 42% below the five-year average, compared to a 47% decline in December last year. And while supply levels will rise, it won’t be enough to reverse the imbalance between demand and supply in 2022, according to Zoopla’s monthly house price index.

Angharad Trueman, Managing Director of CGT Lettingswhich has five branches in Gloucestershire, said: “We are still experiencing record levels of demand from potential buyers and tenants.

“The team have to deal with hundreds of inquiries for each available property and often buyers or tenants can be rude or anti-social when they miss an available property, causing high levels of stress among staff.

“The situation is relentless as inventory levels remain low and demand continues to rise.”

The number of agreed sales in the first quarter was 38% higher than the same period in 2020, according to the Zoopla report. This high level of activity is pushing prices higher, with the average UK home value rising 8.1% over the year, up from 4.2% last February. The average home now has a market value of £245,200.

George Tatham-Losh, Director at Move Sales & Lettings which has offices in Cheltenham and Gloucester, said: “We are struggling to meet both buyer demand and rental demand. This continues to only drive up prices. Sealed offers have become the norm , with multiple offers on 99% of the newly listed shares.”

This seller’s market saw UK property prices rise in March at the fastest pace in 17 years, according to a Guardian report. He said nationwide figures showed the price of an average home was now a fifth higher than at the start of the pandemic.

Prices rose 14.3% in the year to March, the biggest increase since the November 2004 housing boom that followed the financial crisis.

The pressure comes as estate agents try to recover from the pandemic, when many businesses had to cut staff.

Anthony Stick, Sales and Rentals Manager at Belvoir Gloucester, said: “It’s very competitive. Most of the employees are quite stressed because there is a lack of team members because everyone has had to reduce because of the risks during the pandemic.”

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