The Bank of England has reported a weak property market during the final three months of the year as political and economic uncertainty has continued to weigh down heavily on home movers.
The report follows the work of its 12 agents around the UK who talked to some 700 businesses including estate agents to gauge business and consumer confidence, many of whom will be hoping for a post-election New Year bounce.
The Bank of England’s agents reported that completions have been taking longer to go through and that the number of fall-throughs has increased although unlike previous downturns, mortgage lending difficulties haven’t been a factor.
Overall, the bank says supply is outstripping demand across most of the UK and that the gap is widening within the property market.
Rises in the north
This has led to a softening of asking prices in the south of England, although they continue to rise modestly further north.
Landlords continue to stay away from the market and consolidate their portfolios rather than buying new stock.
Also, house builders are turning to more generous incentives in order to sell houses and SME builders have been slowing down their build rates.
The Bank of England’s agents have been reporting a weakening market since mid-2016 when the UK enjoyed a brief post-EU Referendum property market surge in confidence, prices and moving activity.
Read the full report.