The start of the busy spring market is on hold in some parts of the country, with the average price of property coming to market rising by just 0.4% this month. This is the lowest average monthly rise at this time of year since 2011, and considerably lower than the 0.9% average over the last seven years. With the number of sales agreed by estate agents also failing below this time last year, Brexit uncertainty has at best delayed the usual spring bounce.
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”
London remains to be the main drag as nine out of eleven regions still see new-to-the-market sellers pricing higher than a month ago. Prices in London are down by 1.1% on the previous month, and the other region to record a monthly fall is the North East, down by 1.3%. The North West by comparison has seen the highest rise with a 2.2% increase on the previous month.
As the clock ticks down towards the Brexit deadline it is understandable behaviour for more buyers to hesitate. However, search activity on Rightmove remains steady, with numbers of vistits to the website staying level in the year-to-date. This indicates that home-movers are keeping a watching brief which could lead to an eventual bounce if and when the uncertainty abates, and indeed market slowdowns at election time and around the original referendum result bounced back pretty quickly.
Our Residential Director Ian Bythell says; “ The increase we’ve seen in the North West suggests that demand is currently out stripping supply and people are waiting for the Brexit outcome before they put their properties on the market, rather than buyers hesitating which is what appears to be happening in London and other regions. We still have a lot of buyers out there desperately looking for the right property so we’re urging vendors not to wait and see but to go to market now.”