Election uncertainty to impact market
The warning comes despite the property services group seeing a 6% increase in the number of mortgages it arranged in the final quarter of 2014.
As part of its latest update Countrywide said it had arranged 19,041 mortgages in the final quarter of the year but said the election, and other factors, could have an impact on transactions.
It said: “Market data clearly highlights the changing dynamics in the residential property market, with transaction levels across the country now running lower than the previous year.
“The recent negative trend in mortgage approvals will impact transaction levels in the first half of 2015 which, together with the potential uncertainty over the outcome of the General Election in May, is likely to create some sluggishness in the market trends in the first half of 2015.”
But any slowdown looks unlikely to hinder Countrywide which reported strong results at the back end of 2014.
The group saw record results from its lettings business on revenue, profits and margins as the number of residential lettings properties under its management grew by 20% year-on-year.
Alison Platt, Countrywide chief executive, said: “These results once again underline the resilience we derive from our broadly based business and our ability to deliver strong growth in a challenging market.
“We are well placed to both take advantage of the sustainable growth in our lettings and commercial business whilst being positioned to lead as the housing sales market recovers.”