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Lack of property for sale in the UK intensifies as new listings drop by 4%

April is traditionally a busy time for the UK housing market, but fewer homeowners put their properties up for sale last month, the latest UK Property Supply Index from HouseSimple shows.

The online estate agent says that the number of new UK property listings dropped by 4% in April from the previous month.

The firm suggests that the cold weather and political uncertainty, caused by the triggering of Article 50 and Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election, are the main causes for the decline in the number of homes put up for sale, with Runcorn (-33.9%), Doncaster (-31.1%) and Woking (-28.6%) suffering the biggest supply drought, according to the research.

Alex Gosling, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple, said: “The property 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.

“The good news for the property market is that this election doesn’t appear to be a close-run affair so it’s likely that any negative impact on the property market will be short-lived.”

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

Town/City

Region

% rise in new listings in April vs. March

Newquay

South

69.0%

Oldham

North West

42.4%

Nuneaton

West Midlands

39.3%

Nottingham

East Midlands

38.9%

Exeter

South West

33.6%

King's Lynn

East

33.3%

Northampton

East Midlands

30.2%

Perth

Scotland

28.3%

Oxford

South East

25.2%

Norwich

East

23.8%

The data, which is compiled by looking at property listings in more than 100 major towns and cities across the UK and all London boroughs on Home.co.uk, also revealed that Newquay (+69%) saw the biggest jump in new listings. 

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

Town/City

Region

% fall in new listings in April vs. March

Runcorn

North West

-33.9%

Doncaster

South Yorkshire

-31.1%

Woking

South East

-28.6%

St Helens

North West

-27.0%

Gloucester

South West

-24.4%

Shrewsbury

West Midlands

-24.1%

Huntingdon

East

-24.1%

Rochdale

North West

-23.9%

Taunton

South West

-23.9%

Liverpool

North West

-23.7%

In London, housing supply edged up by 1.5% in April, but across the boroughs, new property listings varied significantly, with Lewisham seeing new listings grow by 76% compared to Haringey where supply fell by 21.2%.

The following table shows the five London boroughs that experienced the biggest increases in new property listings in April versus March:

London Borough

% fall in new listings in April vs. March

Lewisham

76.0%

Ealing

55.7%

Hounslow

52.9%

Wandsworth

52.3%

Hackney

38.9%

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

London Borough

% rise in new listings in April vs. March

Haringey

-21.2%

Barking and Dagenham

-19.9%

Sutton

-19.2%

Tower Hamlets

-16.7%

Newham

-15.8%

Gosling added: “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 and everyone heads off on holiday.

“But if sellers need to move then they shouldn’t hold off until after the Election hoping that market conditions will change radically after the result.”

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