Data from a recent report indicates that new property listings fell sharply during the last month.
According to the latest Property Supply Index by online estate agent HouseSimple, the number of UK homeowners putting their property on the market dropped by 13.2% in July.
HouseSimple looked at the total number of new properties listed on Rightmove in July in comparison to June in excess of 100 towns and cities across Britain. In addition, all 32 boroughs in London were examined. The findings show that just one in six towns and cities saw new property listings increase during July.
New stock levels have then fallen in the majority of areas during July. Glasgow and Edinburgh in particular experienced huge drops of 30.3% and 29.7% respectively. Milton Keynes (28.2%) and Sunderland (28.1%) faired only marginally better.
Swindon, which recorded a substantial 40.5% rise in new listings during June, saw them drop by 25.2% in July. What’s more, data shows that a quarter of towns and cities that experienced the largest fall in new listings were in the South West of England.
A possible reason for the drop in new property becoming available could be the typical seasonal drop-offs in market activity during the summer months. However, stock has been low long before the summer arrived and particularly concerning is the fact that the much-expected post General Election rush never really materialised.
Figures from HouseSimple’s survey show that in London, supply for property is particularly low. New stock levels in London boroughs alone were down 14.9% in July. In Bexley , listings fell by 31.4% last month, while popular area Kensington and Chelsea saw new listings slide by 24.5%.’
‘Any hope that sellers were finally returning to the market seems to have been a vain one for the time being,’ said Alex Gosling, CEO of HouseSimple. ‘A boost to new stock levels in June suggested that we were finally starting to see some movement from sellers, but that momentum seems to have been short-lived. The General Election, which the market hoped would provide a catalyst for sellers, is long gone and property stock numbers remain well below normal levels.’
New property listings fall during July
Gosling went on to state that, ‘why are homeowners not moving is the $64,000 question. Is it because they can’t afford to as property prices have risen out of reach of them? Or maybe they’re not confident about market conditions, despite the strength of the economy and the highly competitive mortgage rates on offer at the moment?’ He believes that sellers, ‘need to be encouraged back to the market because there are buyers galore waiting when they do. It’s a very attractive market right now for motivated sellers.’
‘The next few months are going to be important as the property market looks to gather momentum heading into the last quarter of the year. We fully expected activity to drop off in the summer months, but come the Autumn the market needs to replenished with stock to realign the supply versus demand balance,’ Gosling concluded.