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Property listings suffer decline thanks to long hot summer

New property listings across the UK fell for the third month running, according to the latest Property Supply Index from online estate agents Housesimple.com.

The findings revealed that new property listings were down 6.9% across the UK when compared with July, while in London they fell by 17.1%. In fact, every borough in the capital witnessed fewer properties being listed last month than in July.

The Property Supply Index, which examines the number of new properties being listed by estate agents every month in 100 major UK towns and cities, showed that new property supply dropped below 62,000 last month, the lowest level since January 2018. The drop in sellers in London was more than double the UK average.

According to Housesimple.com, this fall in new supply can be attributed firmly to the unseasonally hot weather, with homeowners turning to BBQs, the World Cup and beaches rather than selling their homes.

The largest downturn in new property listings last month was witnessed in King’s Lynn, falling by a massive 36.4% on July, while Rugby in the West Midlands saw a drop of 31.7%. Sale, Inverness, Falmouth, Cambridge, Poole, London, Dundee and Guilford were the other places that saw the biggest decreases in new sellers in August versus July.

It was a different story for Stoke-on-Trent and Lichfield, which both saw property stock increase by 40% or more last month. There was also a considerable increase in new sellers in Barnsley, Oldham, Lincoln, Chelmsford, Chichester, Perth, Maidstone and Middlesbrough.

In London, meanwhile, new listings are now down almost 30% on June’s high, with the 17.1% decline in August following on from the 12.7% fall in July. The largest decrease in new property listings was experienced in the boroughs of Barnet and Haringey, both down by 30.4%. Kensington & Chelsea, the City of Westminster and Haringey were other boroughs to experience large decreases between July and August.  

“One of the hottest summers on record has inevitably had an impact on the property market,” Sam Mitchell, chief executive of Housesimple.com, said. “Although properties are selling, Brits understandably took advantage of the fantastic weather, and it’s no surprise they prioritised spending time outside and taking a holiday over moving home.”

Despite that, he said ‘we did see plenty of sales going through’, with the hot summer offering eager sellers the chance to steal a march on their competition and secure a sale while there were fewer properties on the market.

“Now we are entering one of the traditionally busy periods for the property market,” Mitchell added. “We would expect to see a significant increase in new listings in September and October and sellers will face stiffer competition. But priced correctly, properties are selling despite the Brexit cloud looming overhead.”

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