Brexit Uncertainty Causing Buoyant Spring Market to Slow Down

The average price of property coming to market has risen by just 0.4% this month, as the traditionally busier spring market gets off to a slow start:

Lowest average monthly rise at this time of year since 2011, with London being the main drag.

Prices remain more buoyant outside London with nine out of 11 regions seeing new-to-the-market sellers pricing higher.

More buyers hesitating as Brexit drags on.

Number of sales agreed by estate agents in February was down by 7%. Below same period in 2018, compared with the 4% annual fall recorded in January.

Search activity on Rightmove remains steady, indicating home movers are keeping a watching brief which could lead to an eventual bounce if and when uncertainty resides.

The start of the busy spring months seen within the peaks and troughs of the housing market has slowed down amidst the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Whilst the Brexit delay could ultimately cause a large bounce back in the latter period of the year, the March agreed sales have fallen 7% compared to 2018. Maybe it’s about time a decision on Brexit was made and the housing market could decide on it’s own outcome.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments:

“While March marks the start of spring, temperatures have yet to rise in the housing market. Buying activity remains cooler than usual, with hesitation as some buyers await a more settled  political climate. There’s greater resilience the further away you get from the London market, and there’s a sound bedrock of demand for the right property at the right price, reinforced by ongoing housing needs combined with cheap mortgage borrowing.”

As the clock ticks down towards the Brexit deadline it is natural human behaviour for more buyers to hesitate. Activity seen on property portal Rightmove has actively been hitting 140 million views each month, indicating the clear view that buyers are out there. All but keeping a watchful eye on what to do next.

Shipside adds:

“The closer you get to the wire without the clarity of an agreed way forward, the greater the propensity for buyers to wait and see rather than acting now. This could be a temporary pause, and indeed market slowdowns at election time and around the original referendum result bounced back pretty quickly. Markets and people do not like uncertainty, though while sales agreed numbers are down by 7%, that means they are still running at 93% of last year’s levels. Most potential buyers are getting on with their lives or seeing a price lull as an opportunity to get onto the housing ladder or move to the next rung, with average national asking prices being 0.8% cheaper than a year ago.”

All in all, a seasonal low may hopefully trigger a resurgence in buying numbers as the powers that be bring the UK economy back on track.

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