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Political uncertainty deters property sellers

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.

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.

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:

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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