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General election scares off property sellers

General election scares off property sellers

Last month’s unexpected general election result scared off sellers, with new property listings dropping 1.9 per cent in June compared to May, according to the latest Property Supply Index by online estate agents HouseSimple.com.

Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election to improve her Commons majority backfired spectacularly in June when the Tories managed to secure fewer seats, creating a weakened government.

Coupled with ongoing fears about the impact of Britain's withdrawal from the European, the housing market is suffering from a crisis of confidence.

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Price growth is stalling in many areas, and the predicted post-election spike in new property listings was little more than a trickle, as homeowners chose to stick rather than sell.

Of the 100 towns and cities HouseSimple.com analysed, 81 per cent of areas saw property supply fall in June compared to May.

Dundee and Barnsley registered the biggest drop offs in property supply, down 48.1 per cent and 39.3 per cent last month.

Of the few areas that saw a rise in new listings in June, Lichfield and Hartlepool registered substantial gains of 20.6 per cent and 18.7 per cent respectively while London saw a 5.3 per cent uplift in new property listings last month.

Alex Gosling, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple.com, said: “The supply drought continues.

"The property market was hoping for a downpour of new stock in June, but the Conservatives crawling over the line failed to deliver the injection of confidence the market needed, and put paid to any chance of a late Spring bounce.

"Price growth has stalled, and sellers, it appears, are choosing to stay put, rather than accept marketing their properties at a lower price then they might have done a few months ago.

“Sellers maybe need a dose of reality, because price growth slowing should not be the only reason to hold-off moving.

"The housing market overheated and it was inevitably going to cool at some point. If sellers are waiting for prices to go up again, that could be a long wait.

"If anything, homeowners should see this as a good climate to sell as long as they price correctly. If prices have dropped where they live, they are likely to have dropped, possibly by even more, in the area they’re planning to buy.”

Alan Lakey, director at advice firm Highclere, said it appears some of the extremes in the housing market are being evened out.

"The current economic and political uncertainty is affecting confidence and this always translate into watching and waiting."