Political uncertainty deters property sellers

Political uncertainty has scared off many sellers, with new property listings dropping for the second consecutive month, down 1.6% in July after a drop of 1.9% in June.

The shock result of the recent UK general election which returned a hung parliament, coupled with ongoing concerns about the impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, has left many would-be property sellers in ‘limbo’, according to the latest Property Supply Index by online estate agents HouseSimple.com.

Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election to increase her commons majority backfired spectacularly in June when the Tories lost its majority, creating a weakened government.

The UK housing market is now suffering from a crisis of confidence, with price growth stalling in many areas, and the anticipated post-election spike in new property listings failing to materialise, as homeowners opt to remain in their existing properties rather than sell.

Of the 100 towns and cities HouseSimple.com analysed, more areas actually saw an increase in property supply in July compared to June. But across the UK as a whole, supply was down, with Newquay (30%) and King’s Lynn (25.6%) experiencing the largest decrease in new listings in July.

Dundee saw new property listings almost double in July, up 96.9%, while new properties advertised in Truro (up 55.2%), which is less than 30 minutes away from Newquay, were up by more than half.

The following table shows the ten UK towns and cities that experienced the biggest decreases in new property listings in July versus June:

The following table shows the ten UK towns and cities that experienced the biggest decreases in new property listings in July versus June:

Town/City Region % fall in new listings in July vs. June
Newquay South -30.0%
King’s Lynn East -25.6%
Perth Scotland -23.2%
Southport North West -21.6%
Shrewsbury West Midlands -21.4%
Warwick West Midlands -20.2%
Edinburgh Scotland -20.0%
Exmouth South -18.3%
Hartlepool North East -18.2%
Solihull West Midlands -18.1%

The following table shows the ten UK towns and cities that experienced the biggest increases in new property listings in July versus June:

Town/City Region % rise in new listings in July vs. June
Dundee Scotland 96.9%
Truro North East 55.2%
Ely South 43.3%
Huddersfield West Yorkshire 36.7%
Slough South East 13.4%
Hereford West Midlands 27.3%
Telford West Midlands 26.4%
Nuneaton West Midlands 24.8%
Blackburn North West 24.4%
Stockton on Tees North East 24.2%

London

Property supply in the capital dropped off more than twice the UK average in July, down 4.0% on June. Supply was strongest in some of the outer London boroughs, such as Redbridge (22.7%) and Sutton (13.2%).

The following table shows the five London boroughs that experienced the biggest decreases in new property listings in July versus June:

London Borough % fall in new listings in July vs. June
Bexley – 24.3%
Barnet -19.9%
Haringey -19.8%
Camden -19.0%
Croydon -17.9%

The following table shows the London boroughs which saw the biggest rise in property supply in July versus June:

London Borough % rise in new listings in July vs. June
Redbridge 22.7%
Hounslow 19.1%
Hillingdon 15.2%
Sutton 13.2%
Waltham Forest 12.9%

Alex Gosling, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple, commented: “Right now it feels like sellers aren’t really sure what to do. There is so much negative press around Brexit and very little confidence in the Government after such a calamitous election campaign; and fear and uncertainty is weighing heavily on house price growth.

“We were expecting to see a late-Spring boost in new properties being listed in June and a stronger than usual early-Summer, but neither has materialised. Sellers are in limbo. Do they sell while prices are dropping, or do they stay put and see what happens over the coming months, when the government should hopefully have a clearer Brexit plan?”

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Written by: Houseladder