The amount of new instructions fell significantly this month, according to new data published by Rightmove.
Rightmove’s house price index found that new sellers fell by 14.9% compared to the same period last year, marking the largest year-on-year slump in new sellers since August 2009.
Political uncertainty may be to blame for this decline, as sellers are reportedly more cautious in the run-up to Brexit. Buyers may also be waiting to see if the newly-elected government will reform stamp duty, which may reduce the cost of moving down the line.
The housing market’s “lacklustre” price growth was also a factor in reduced new instructions, as house prices reportedly fell by 1.3% this month.
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.”
However, the number of agreed sales fell by only 2.9%, suggesting buyers in the market are looking to take advantage of reduced house prices. Rightmove also report that larger properties fared better among active sales, with only -1.4% sales compared to the same month of last year.
Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove, said: “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.”
He added: “Our monthly poll of the housing market shows a clear swing towards hesitation for prospective sellers, leading to buyers losing the extra choice that thousands more newly-marketed properties would bring.
“In spite of this,” he added, “buyers are continuing with their purchasing plans, with the number of sales agreed only marginally down on a year ago.
“Many buyers are getting on with their lives and making the most of the better negotiating opportunities that the distractions of electioneering and the seasonal slowdown in the run-up to Christmas can bring.”