Seasonal supply drop off already detected in UK housing market

The seasonal drop off has hit the UK housing market already as the latest figures show that new property listings fell by 22% in November compared with the previous month.

Overall some 67% of town and cities saw fewer new sellers marketing their properties with Bath seeing the biggest decline with a fall of 52.4%, according to the property supply index from online estate agents HouseSimple.

The next biggest fall in supply was in Watford with a decline of 39.6%, followed by Lincoln with a fall of 38.2%, Warrington down 37.6% and Torquay down 36.2%. In London new sellers were down by 30.3% and there was not a single London borough that saw supply rise last month, with Kingston upon Thames experiencing a 42.5% drop in new property listings.

But some towns and cities are seeing supply rise, most notably Newquay with an increase of 62.1%, followed by Truro up 55.9%, Lichfield up 43.2%, Halifax up 26.6% and Loughborough up 27.3%.

‘There tends to be a drop off in activity as we approach Christmas, but this year the slowdown has started earlier,’ said Alex Gosling, HouseSimple chief executive officer.

‘It’s been a tough year for the property market having to contend with the aftermath of the snap general election and the fallout from Article 50 being invoked. And with generally negative Brexit news every day, that takes its toll. Home owners may be feeling a little jaded and simply decided it’s best to take stock and start afresh in January,’ he explained.

‘On a more positive note, the housing market received a welcome boost in the Autumn Budget, with the Chancellor announcing that he was cutting stamp duty for first time buyers. This will hopefully stimulate the bottom end of the market, and feed through to increased housing supply as people further up the chain see more active buyers,’ he pointed out.

‘More than ever, we need a strong first quarter as 2018 is set to be a challenging year as Brexit talks gather pace,’ he concluded.