Is it the Brexit triggering of Article 50, the snap General Election or the cold weather we have had until recently?
Whatever the cause, it appears the usual strong spring increase in the stock of homes coming to the market has been bucked this year.
A survey by HouseSimple suggests that property supply fell by four per cent in April with some of the cities analysed showing much more dramatic above-average supply shortfalls – down 34 per cent in Runcorn and down 31 per cent in Doncaster, for example.
Other locations as geographically divergent as Taunton, Liverpool, Gloucester and Rochdale all saw a drop in new listings of over 20 per cent in April.
Meanwhile some areas did see a surge in supply more akin to the usual spring bounce.
Newquay saw a 69 per cent increase and Exeter a 34 per cent rise; Oxford, Norwich and Perth also recorded supply increases in excess of 20 per cent.
To compile its survey, HouseSimple looks at data from more than 500,000 listed properties to track the number of new properties marketed every month in more than 100 major towns and cities across the UK and all London boroughs.
Supply rose just 1.5 per cent overall in London in April, but across the boroughs new property listings varied significantly with Lewisham seeing growth by 76 per cent compared to Haringey where supply fell by 21 per cent.
“The market doesn’t like uncertainty and triggering Article 50 and announcing a snap General Election shortly after is a huge amount of uncertainty for sellers to digest. If the market is a little slower up until the General Election on June 8, then it’s likely after the result is known, there will be a boost in supply, with sellers looking to find buyers before the summer kicks in” says Alex Gosling, chief executive of HouseSimple.
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