General Election uncertainty starts to kick in – causing demand for housing to drop
The number of house hunters registered per branch fell to 381 in April and the numbers of available housing also dropped, as sellers delayed marketing homes amid General Election uncertainty.
Snap General Election
In March there were 397 house-hunters registered per estate agent branch, down from 425 in January and February, but this figure dropped four per cent to 381 in April. The snap General Election has started to take effect triggering uncertainty as buyers put their plans on hold until the result is clear.
The number of house-hunters searching for properties was 17 per cent lower at just 325 per member branch last April amid Brexit uncertainty.
In March there were 39 properties available to buy per branch but in April this figure dropped by eight per cent to just 36 per branch
The lowest supply of properties was April 2016 when agents had just 35 properties to market, as sellers held off until after the EU referendum.
Sales to first time buyers
The proportion of sales agreed per branch made to first time buyers stayed the same at 25 per cent in April.
The number fell from 10 in March to eight in April, while The rate of sales agreed above asking price rose to seven per cent in April, from five per cent in March. In line with this, the number of properties which were sold for less than the asking price dropped three percentage points from 75 per cent in March to 72 per cent in April.
Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark, Mark Hayward, said:
“Periods of political uncertainty tend to halt activity in the housing market, and this is exactly what we’re seeing this month. All of the main political parties have outlined significant housing promises in their manifestos and we’d hope to see these policies rolled out in the new Government’s first six to 12 months in Parliament. Buyers and sellers alike are recognising this and adopting a ‘wait and see’ strategy to decipher how or if the value of their existing or future homes will be affected.
However, despite the fact that increasing housing stock is playing a part in the Election campaigning, more often than not we find these pledges are unachievable and turn out to be empty promises. It’s therefore important that the market doesn’t totally stall as this could trigger an unintended domino effect, which we could still feel the effect of years later before supply increases. A business as usual approach will ensure house-hunters are met with a healthy supply of properties to view, and sellers get a fair price and a good buyer.”