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UK property transactions drop by a third over the past three months

Reapit research has found that UK property transactions have plummeted by a third in the past three months as Brexit uncertainty weighs on the market.

Reapit, the leading software platform for estate agents, compared its most recent three months of sales data with the five-year average for the same November-January period in order to gauge the impact of uncertainty on the property market across its measurable metrics.

By analysing data from thousands of estate agents’ offices, it found strong indicators of a stalled market across the board. Every data point was down on the five-year average, from the initial market appraisals, which are carried out by agents to give a likely asking price and property marketing strategy, through to exchange of contracts and ultimate sale.

Key results from the Reapit research are:

  • The average number of exchanges recorded per estate agent office dropped by 36% when compared to the long-term average
  • Properties under offer were down 8% on the long-term average
  • Instructions of new properties were down 10%
  • Viewings of properties were down 5%
  • Market appraisals of properties were down 2.5%

Gary Barker, CEO of Reapit, commenting on the data said: “Although house prices remain reasonably resilient, our research sheds light on the extent to which Brexit uncertainty has affected property transactions in the past three months. Our data reveal that property sales per estate agent have dropped by a third when compared to the long-term average.

“This 36% drop in sales represents an unprecedented five-year November-January low. It’s doubly concerning for estate agents because seasonally, this is a quieter period for transactions compared to the summer months.

“It’s fair to say that the housing market is holding its breath as we await the Brexit outcome. Nobody wants to risk being on the wrong side of a potential house price crash, so the market sentiment is to wait and see.

“There is a silver lining we can be more confident about: once we have clarity, the pent-up demand of people waiting to buy, and supply of people waiting to sell, will see an upswing in activity for the housing industry.  Regardless of politics, life goes on and people need to move homes. Agents need to be prepared when the floodgates are opened.”

Source: Property118

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Market labelled ‘stagnant’ after property sales fall in July

UK property transactions fell by 0.8% from the month before and 3.2% year-on-year in July – leading to experts labelling the market as ‘flat’ and stagnant.

There were 99, 270 property transactions in July, seasonally adjusted figures from the HM Revenue and Customs show.

Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Despite increased innovation in the property industry and assistance from government schemes such as Help to Buy and shared ownership, property transactions remain stagnant.

“A fundamental imbalance between supply and demand continues to stifle movement within the market, and until this issue is properly addressed, homeowners will find it difficult to downsize or upsize into better suited properties.

“The lack of availability of appropriate housing at all stages of homeownership is restricting movement in the market and creating bottlenecks.

“It’s therefore crucial that the industry continues to take whatever steps it can to ease this block and make the UK housing market accessible for all.”

Guy Bradshaw, director of Central London sales and lettings at UK Sotheby’s International Realty, said: “Undeniably recent economic and political uncertainty is being reflected in these lower figures but what is important is these lower figures are less extreme than what we were seeing earlier in the year.

“Rather than a market in decline we are seeing simply a flat market.”

There is an expectation that the market will be slightly subdued compared to 2017 throughout the rest of 2018.

Nick Leeming, chairman at Jackson-Stops, said: “With monthly transactions in 2018 failing to go beyond the 100,000 mark and higher inflation rates causing some households to start to feel the pinch, I can’t see there being any significant uplift in residential transaction levels this year.”

Source: Mortgage Introducer