The prospect of an upcoming general election appeared to have dampened down the housing market in the first two months of this year, according to data from the National Association of Estate Agents.
Almost half of NAEA agents said the market had been cooling in the lead-up to May, while a quarter of member agents said the election would have the biggest effect on the housing market this year.
NAEA’s February Housing Market Report revealed that almost a third of all properties sold in February were sold to first-time buyers, the highest level since 2009.
The report also showed that demand for property remained, with 366 house-hunters registered with each NAEA member branch, up from 353 in January.
This is still significantly higher than supply, with homes for sale marginally down from 44 houses per branch in January to 43 this month. The total number of sales agreed in February remained the same as January, with eight house sales going through each member branch.
James Carter, a principal at Independent James in London, said: “There are fewer properties on the market, which may show up in March’s figures. We are still seeing lots of buyers, but sellers don’t seem to be in a rush at the moment.”