General election ‘causing housing market to stall’

The North West residential property market has stalled as a result of the 2017 general election, new figures indicate.

The results of the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey suggest buyers and sellers in the region have adopted a “wait and see approach” as Britain heads to the polls today (8 June).

In May, 27% of the agents surveyed are said to have reported a fall in new buyer enquiries, compared with just 3% in April, while 47% noted a decline in fresh listings.

Citing the disruptive influence of the election, the respondents concur that agreed sales continue to decline for the third consecutive month running.

Just 5% of those surveyed are optimistic the market will pick up within the next three months, but the long-term outlook is more positive, with 73% anticipating prices will increase over the next year.

Looking ahead, the respondents envisage house price inflation averaging 3.5% per annum across the UK over the next five years.

Derek Coates, MRICS of Venmores in Liverpool, says: “We’ve seen a much quieter month possibly due to the forthcoming election. Investors are also continually trying to chip prices down to compensate for increases in stamp duty.”

In the lettings market, 38% report a rise in demand for rented homes last month, up from 20% in the month previous.

However, only 13% cite a rise in new rental properties coming onto the market, while 25% expects rents to rise over the coming three months due to increasingly healthy demand for rented homes.

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About Author: Mark Langshaw

Mark is a journalist at Your Move. He can be contacted via email at mark.langshaw@movepublishing.co.uk or by phone on 0151 709 3871.