New property listings fell in October by 6.9% on average across the UK with four out of five towns and cities seeing a drop in supply during a typically busy month for property market activity.
This is in contrast to September when property listings are generally up following the summer lull and suggests that sellers are in no rush to sell before Christmas.
Overall 81% of towns and cities saw a drop in property supply with the largest fall in Swansea with a decline of 52% while supply actually rose by 30.9% in Crawley, according to the property supply index from online estate agent House Simple.
Indeed, some 19% of towns and cities saw supply rising including Chichester with a rise of 25%, Salisbury up 24.2%, Warwick up 20%, Peterborough up 16.4%, Guildford up 15% and Birmingham up 14.5%.
But the majority saw supply fall. After Swansea the next biggest decline was in Stirling where supply was down by 37.7%, Stevenage down by 36.4%, Winchesters down by 35.7%, Carlisle down by 34.7% and Hereford down by 33.3%.
‘At this time of year we’d expect to see committed sellers rushing to put their properties on the market before the traditionally quieter period kicks in as we get closer to Christmas,’ said Alex Gosling, chief executive officer of House Simple.
‘The weather has also been unseasonably mild recently, and that should be encouraging sellers to list their houses as it presents an opportunity to show off their property in the best possible light,’ he pointed out.
‘Instead, we have seen new listings stall in October, with supply down in four out of five UK towns and cities. This might simply be a correction after September saw a surge in new properties coming onto the market, and the overall drop in property supply is still less than 2% in October compared to September,’ he explained.
‘We may need to wait until the New Year now to see market activity pick up. But there will always be people that have to sell their properties in November and December, and that could mean opportunities to negotiate a good deal for buyers who have their finance in place and are ready to proceed,’ he added.