Not many agents have thanked Theresa May for holding a general election during the crucial summer months, and now the extent of the damage being caused by the campaigning is laid bare.
All the UK’s housing market health indicators fell last month which, according to NAEA Propertymark which compiled the figures, is “most likely down to uncertainty triggered by the snap General Election starting to take effect, as buyers put their plans on hold until the result is clear”, it says.
House hunter number fall
This includes the number of house-hunters in the market which fell by 4% to 381 per branch, property supply per branch which dropped by 8% to 36 per branch, and the number sales agreed per branch. This fell from ten per branch in March to eight in April.
This is the third April in a row during which politics has conspired to dampen down the housing market after last year’s EU Referendum – which had the hardest impact on the market – and, before that, the 2015 General Election.
For example, during the EU Referendum the number of house hunters dropped to 325 per branch, 17% lower than the current figure of 381.
“Periods of political uncertainty tend to halt activity in the housing market, and this is exactly what we’re seeing this month,” says Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark (pictured, above)
“All of the main political parties have outlined significant housing promises in their manifestos and we’d hope to see these policies rolled out in the new Government’s first six to 12 months in Parliament.
Buyers and sellers alike are recognising this and adopting a ‘wait and see’ strategy to decipher how or if the value of their existing or future homes will be affected.”
But the underlying property market does appear to be improving, the NAEA figures show. In April the proportion of homes sold for more than their asking price was 7%, increase from 5% in March.