A slump in the number of homes being put up for sale is being blamed on a Brexit freeze that has also seen the lowest number of potential buyers registering with estate agents since 2012.
The figures come from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) which highlights that the number of buyers registering for each member branch fell 13% in October when compared to September.
The NAEA says that just 294 new buyers were registered in October per branch compared to September’s 338.
Also, the supply of housing has dropped by 13%, with 40 homes being registered per branch, compared with 46 in September.
The association’s chief executive, Mark Hayward, says their findings highlight that ‘uncertainty over Brexit is impacting on the sector’.
‘Many Sellers And Buyers Are Putting Plans On Hold’
Mr Hayward said: “It’s possible that sellers and buyers are putting plans on hold and waiting for clarity on the UK’s future relationship with the EU and what it will mean for them and for the property market.
“We are also entering a seasonally quiet period where the market typically slows down with people putting their plans to move on hold until the New Year.”
He added: “With fewer prospective buyers it is important that those who are trying to sell their home make sure it’s priced competitively and is presented in the best way possible.”
The association also points out that sales to first-time buyers reached a three-year low in August, accounting for 20% of the total, but their report highlights that FTB sales have increased since.
In October, first-time buyers accounted for 23% of the market, up slightly from September’s figure of 22%.
9% Drop In Sales
The NEAE’s figures have been underlined with data from one of the country’s biggest estate agencies, LSL Property Services, who say they have seen a 9% drop in sales in the first 10 months of 2018.
The firm says its trading performance has been boosted by improved financial services and lettings income.
The general decline of the property market in the UK has also been echoed by data provided by mortgage brokers who say they have seen the biggest fall in two years in their home loan business.
They say that in the third quarter of 2018, the number of cases being handled on an annual basis fell by 10%.
Brokers say that the drop equates to 81 cases per broker, from 90 in the quarter previously.
Now the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders’ Association (IMLA) says this slide is the largest quarterly fall since the first quarter of 2016 when the number of average cases fell by 11% from 82 to 72 cases.
Fall Has Knocked The Confidence Of Mortgage Brokers
This fall has knocked the confidence of mortgage brokers with just 60% admitting to feeling ‘very confident’ about their business, down from 68% recorded earlier this year.
The IMLA’s executive director, Kate Davis, said: “The survey shows that sentiment among movers and buyers is at a low point currently.
“While Brexit negotiations remain uncertain and complex, many people may adopt a wait-and-see approach before moving forward on a property purchase.”