Monday, 16 December 2019

Asking prices down as general election looms

Asking prices down as general election looms

ASKING prices have fallen by an average of 1.3 per cent across the country over the past month.

With the December 12 general election impending, the number of new sellers putting their homes on the market fell by nearly 15 per cent — sharpest rate since the financial crisis.

A spokesman for Rightmove said: “Would-be sellers are not only faced with the usual lower asking prices in the run-up to Christmas, but also a unique autumn combination of a Brexit deadline followed by a looming general election.

“These circumstances have proved to be a negative factor for thousands of prospective sellers, who have postponed their marketing plans.

“In contrast, there is positive news for buyers, with new seller asking prices 1.3 per cent cheaper than last month and virtually flat year on year — a portent of winter bargain-hunting opportunities. The number of sales agreed remains resilient, just 2.9 per cent lower than a year ago, suggesting that there are still many buyers in the market to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Housing market analyst Miles Shipside added: “I’ve seen lots of unusual events affecting the property market in my 40-year career, but a Brexit deadline followed by a snap general election six weeks later is obviously a new combination for me and for many thousands of buyers and sellers.

“Elections normally dampen activity as uncertainty causes a degree of hesitation, but this one is being called to try to break the deadlock after three years of uncertainty. A more certain outlook, whatever it may be, would be a welcome change for those who are contemplating moving.”


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