The price of property coming to market fell by 1.3% in November with 14.9% fewer new sellers than the same period a year ago, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index.
The number of sellers coming to market is the largest year-on-year slump in any month since 2019, with stagnant price growth and political uncertainty reportedly to blame.
New seller asking prices are 1.3% cheaper month-on-month.
Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: “I’ve seen lots of unusual events affecting the property market in my 40-year career, but a Brexit deadline followed by a snap General Election six weeks later is obviously a new combination for me and for many thousands of buyers and sellers.
“Elections normally dampen activity as uncertainty causes a degree of hesitation, but this one is being called to try to break the deadlock after three years of uncertainty. A more certain outlook, whatever it may be, would be a welcome change for those who are contemplating moving.”
The number of sales agreed fell by 2.9% year-on-year, with larger properties of four bedrooms or more being the most active sector.
Scotland and the North East saw rises on the number of sales agreed compared to this time last year.
Shipside added: “Our monthly poll of the housing market shows a clear swing towards hesitation for prospective sellers, leading to buyers losing the extra choice that thousands more newly-marketed properties would bring.
“In spite of this, buyers are continuing with their purchasing plans, with the number of sales agreed only marginally down on a year ago.
“Many buyers are getting on with their lives and making the most of the better negotiating opportunities that the distractions of electioneering and the seasonal slowdown in the run-up to Christmas can bring.”
“With an average price tag of over half a million pounds, those with the money are potentially in the money when it comes to year-on-year savings.
“Properties at the top of the housing ladder have seen new sellers come to market an average of £6,142 cheaper than this time last year.
“If you are buying and selling in the same market, then what you gain on the buying swings you may lose on the selling roundabouts.
“However, it does seem that some would-be buyers who have hung back in this most expensive bracket are now seeing an opportunity to engage.”
In the capital, the average price of property coming to market fell by 1.4% in November, whilst the number of new sellers fell by 26.9% compared to this time last year
The number of sales agreed in London puts it in the top three best-performing regions, down by just 0.1% on the same period a year ago despite the political uncertainty.
The average time taken to find a buyer is down by 2.8% to 69.2 days, one of only two regions where properties are selling faster when compared with last year.
Shipside added: “Thousands of prospective sellers continue to postpone their marketing plans in the capital.
“In contrast there is positive news for buyers, with new seller asking prices 1.4% cheaper than last month and 0.8% lower than a year ago.
”Our monthly poll of the housing market shows a clear swing towards hesitation for prospective sellers, with buyers losing the extra choice that thousands more newly-marketed properties would bring.
“In spite of this, buyers are voting to continue with their purchasing plans, with the number of sales agreed only marginally down on a year ago.
“London is the third best region in terms of the year-on-year change in the number of sales agreed.”
Tomer Aboody, director at MT Finance, said: “This report reflects a time when there was uncertainty as to which party would be elected and the outcome of Brexit.
“Nervousness has stopped people buying property or proceeding with sales.
“But following Thursday’s general election result, over the next 12 to 18 months we should see positivity filter back into the market.
“We expect an increase in property values across the country, London more so than others, as this is the city where the highs and lows are usually the greatest.
“People should seek comfort from the fact that we have a business-focussed government, which in turn gives confidence to the housing market. 2020 should see steady growth for the market for the first time in five or six years.”
Josef Wasinski, co-founder of Wayhome, added: “Aspiring homeowners will be waiting to see how their route to homeownership might be impacted by the new government.
“A whole host of political issues and challenges face the Prime Minister and high on the agenda should be the homeownership crisis – which is a chronic problem.
“The reality for many is that buying a home is only possible with the help of friends and family.
“Thousands of reluctant renters will continue to be ignored without radical change from the Conservative party and we welcome any efforts to address this long-standing issue.”