Housing market slows amidst General Election uncertainty

Ryan Bembridge

May 31, 2017

Housing activity slowed in April as the electorate paused for breath ahead of the UK General Election on June 8, the National Association of Estate Agents suggested.

The number of registered house-hunters per NAEA branch fell to 381 in April from 397 in March and 425 in January and February.

What is more the number of sales per branch fell to eight in April from 10 in March.

Seller activity also fell, as there were 36 properties per NAEA branch in April compared to 39 in March.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “Periods of political uncertainty tend to halt activity in the housing market, and this is exactly what we’re seeing this month.

“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.”

He added: “However, despite the fact that increasing housing stock is playing a part in the election campaigning, more often than not we find these pledges are unachievable and turn out to be empty promises.

“It’s therefore important that the market doesn’t totally stall as this could trigger an unintended domino effect, which we could still feel the effect of years later before supply increases.

“A business as usual approach will ensure house-hunters are met with a healthy supply of properties to view, and sellers get a fair price and a good buyer.”

Some polls are suggesting there could be a hung parliament in the General Election contested by the Conservatives’ Theresa May and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn (pictured).

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