Listings of new properties for sale in the UK fell by almost 50% in December which agents say is more than the usual seasonal slowdown, new research suggests.
New listings fell by 46.9% with 98% of towns and cities seeing a decline on properties for sale compared to the previous month, according to the property supply index from online estate agents HouseSimple.
Overall new listings were lower in December than any other month in 2016. The biggest month on month fall in supply was in Southport with listings down by 71.2%, followed by Rugby down 70.1%, Edinburgh down 66.6%, Bootle down 65.8% and Inverness down by 64.9%.
Crawley, Newquay, Aberdeen, Southend on Sea and Watford also saw supply drop by more than 50% while only two locations, Salford and Telford, saw property listings increase, up 8.5% and 4.1% respectively in December.
London recorded a larger than average drop in new properties being advertised, with the supply of new homes down by 53.6%. The boroughs of Bromley and Enfield saw the sharpest fall in new listings, down 62.3% and 60.2% respectively.
In Hackney listings were down 59.5%, In Bexley down 59.4% and in Kensington and Chelsea they were down by 59.3%. Haringey, Ealing, Waltham Forest, Kingston Upon Thames and Harrow also saw listing fall by more than 50%.
Alex Gosling, the firm’s chief executive officer said that while a slowdown in listings is expected at the end of the year, last month was particularly slow.
‘The fear is that this steep drop-off could hail the start of a more tentative market as inflation starts to rise and people feel less confident financially. How the job market and economy perform will be critical for the property market in the months ahead,’ he said.