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New property listings plummet 13% through August



The latest Property Supply Index, conducted by online estate agents HouseSimple.com, has revealed a 13.1% decrease in new property listings over August in comparison to the previous month.

A late-summer drop-off is hardly surprising. Historically, August is a slow month for sellers – prospective house buyers are often preoccupied with their summer holidays. And yet, having taken this into account, the amount of new properties listed during August was still 5.9% lower than the same period the previous year.

HouseSimple.com analysed new property listings in more than 100 major UK towns and cities. Overall, around two thirds experienced a noticeable drop-off in new properties listed in August compared to July, with Coventry (33%) and Winchester (31.1%) the biggest casualties.

In London, the decline was much more pronounced. New property listings fell 22.3%, with 30 of the 32 London boroughs taking a hit. Richmond saw the most significant decrease (42.2%) of any borough for a second consecutive month. Only Bexley (17.4%) and Sutton (8.4%) bucked the trend, reporting a welcome increase.

According to Alex Gosling, CEO of HouseSimple.com: “August tends to be a quiet month for property transactions and new sales instructions. Not surprisingly, supply fell substantially as the country went on its summer break.

“Few people will be concerned by the drop off in new listings between July and August. More of a concern is the 5.9% drop off when comparing last month with the corresponding month in 2016. Supply continues to be a major issue.

“We never saw the post General Election boost in supply as sellers were worried about a lack of clarity around Brexit. Unfortunately, the Government has barely made a scratch on the surface when it comes to negotiations with the EU. But the initial panic has subsided, the General Election is a distant memory and property prices have stabilised.

“The property market needs a strong September after a subdued period since the General Election. Hopefully a line will have been drawn under the first half of the year, concerns about economic conditions will have dissipated, and buyers and sellers will come back from their summer break with renewed confidence to move forward.”

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