House sales down according to Agent Connells Group

There has been a greater than expected downturn in sales agreed following the Brexit vote, Connells Group has reported.

There has been a greater than expected downturn in sales agreed following the Brexit vote, Connells Group has reported.

But, it emphasised, “recovery is visible”.

Group chief executive David Livesey said that in the three weeks prior to June 23, sales agreed were 11% down on the same weeks of 2015, when the market was strong, but 1% up on 2014, when it was starting to weaken after a strong spring.

In the three weeks after the referendum, he said sales agreed were 13% down on last year and 5% below 2014.

Livesey said: “This is a greater than expected downturn and reflects some hesitancy from buyers.”

He also reported that web inquiries reduced “significantly” in June, down 26% on 2015.

In the three weeks to June 23, they were down 5% compared with the same period in 2014, but in the post-Brexit three weeks they have increased and are now running level with 2014.

Livesey has also revealed that fall-throughs pose in the week following the Leave vote as aborted sales spiked at 71 per day, compared with 50 per day in May.

Some of this, he said, was opportunistic chipping of deals, but others were prompted by genuine concern, notably from foreign buyers living and working in the south-east and being paid in sterling.

He said that in the last two weeks, abortive sales have returned to normal levels at 50 per day.

He also said that some other signs were positive, with market appraisal activity up 3% in the last two weeks, and new instructions up by just over 2% in the last week.

He was more cautious on other indicators, saying prices had been reduced on 8% of available stock, up from early June when the figure was 6.5%.

Offers are down by 6%, and sales agreed down 9% – improving to 7.4% down in the last week.

Livesey said: “In general terms, London and the south-east seemed to have suffered the worst impact, but even after three weeks, recovery is visible.

So overall, whilst sales agreed have taken a step down from the very high levels in Q1, and are down 13% compared with the same period last year, all other indicators are looking healthy and improving each week and this infers a relatively short period of lower transaction volumes.

“Indeed, our branches are already seeing activity returning to expected July levels.”

Livesey’s remarks were made in the context of Connells’ report for Q2 of this year.

It said that this was overall a good period, following a strong first quarter, but overshadowed by the lead-up to the EU.

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Written by: Houseladder