Surge in homes for sale despite election uncertainty

Property investors who were starved of choice now have more homes to choice to from following a rise in the number of residential properties put up for sale, according to a new report.

The latest property supply index from online estate agents HouseSimple suggests that there are no pre-election jitters among homeowners looking to sell up, with the overall number of new properties being advertised for sale in May rising by 7% month-on-month, after dropping 4% in April.

Almost 80% of towns and cities saw an increase in new property listings in May compared to April, led by Barnsley, Wolverhampton and Canterbury, where the volume of new property listings in May rose by 74.6%, 52.1% and 51.9% respectively.

The rise in the number of properties coming onto the market could help ease the chronic shortage of properties for sale, highlighted recently by the National Association of Estate Agents.

The trade body found that there were just 36 properties available to buy per branch in April, down from 39 properties in March, and so the pickup in supply in May will be welcome news for many estate agents as well as property investors.

What’s more, based on historic trends, housing supply could rise further in the coming months, once the general election is out of the way.

In the three months after the May 2010 election, for instance, the number of properties coming on to the market increased by 17% compared to the previous three-month period, according to Rightmove.

Alex Gosling, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple, commented: “Political and economic uncertainty surrounding a general election can often see sellers hold off marketing until after the result is known. However, the 7% rise in May suggests many sellers aren’t waiting and marketed their properties last month to try and secure an offer before the Election result.

“There is something to be said for doing this. The spring period, traditionally a buoyant time for the property market, has been knocked off kilter by Article 50 being invoked and the PM calling a general election. As a result, we could see a late spring bounce after the election result, with a stampede of sellers putting their properties onto the market before the summer holidays. It doesn’t give home sellers a lot of time to secure a sale and the savvy and committed seller, willing to negotiate on price could well have seen an opportunity to beat this stampede and steal a march on their competition.”


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Written by: Houseladder