Residential  

London property listings drop by 22%

London property listings drop by 22%

New property listings in the capital fell 22.3 per cent in August, with all but two London boroughs witnessing declines.

Richmond saw the biggest fall (down 42.2 per cent), followed by Kingston-upon-Thames (38.4 per cent) and Hounslow (38.1 per cent), according to research by online estate agents HouseSimple.com.

Only Bexley (17.4 per cent) and Sutton (8.4 per cent) saw an increase in property supply between July and August.

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Across the UK, new listings were down by 13.1 per cent month-on-month and 5.9 per cent year-on-year.

It comes after the latest Halifax house price index revealed a shortage of housing stock had been underpinning price increases.

According to HouseSimple, the biggest decline in August was in Coventry (33 per cent), with Winchester (31.1 per cent) and Salford (28.5 per cent) also witnessing sharp falls.

Darlington saw the largest rise in new listings (29.9 per cent), followed by Falmouth (28.6 per cent) and Warwick (28 per cent).

Alex Gosling, chief executive of HouseSimple.com, said: “August tends to be a quiet month for property transactions and new sales instructions. Not surprisingly, supply fell substantially as the country went on its summer break.

“Few people will be concerned by the drop off in new listings between July and August. More of a concern is the 5.9 per cent drop off when comparing last month with the corresponding month in 2016. Supply continues to be a major issue.”

He added that the market needed a strong September to compensate for the subdued period since the General Election, when Brexit uncertainty deterred potential sellers.

Mike Richards, director at London-based Mortgage Concepts Associates, said he was a bit concerned by the figures after experiencing a quiet August.

“The feedback I am getting is that people are not being realistic on price, therefore they are not putting their homes on the market,” he said.

“Those going on the market are where [estate agents] have over-egged the price a bit. They will stay there for a while and then get hit by a price reduction at some point. Other estate agents are having problems selling because people are not being realistic on price. It is the same across the north side of the south-east, in Kent and Surrey as well.”

He added that there had been an increase in activity since the beginning of September as people returned from their holidays, but that many people were considering staying put and refurbishing their homes instead of selling.

simon.allin@ft.com