Political uncertainty has left the housing market in limbo with new listings at a four-month low, agents say.
NAEA Propertymark’s Housing Report for October found that the number of properties available per member branch fell last month from 40 in September to 39, the lowest amount seen since June.
The number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch decreased from 387 to 341 over the month but is still up on the 294 recorded in October 2018.
The number of sales agreed was flat at eight per branch, and while the proportion of deals for first-time buyers was up annually from 23% to 27%, this was down from 30% in September.
Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “Brexit is undoubtedly causing uncertainty in the housing market, which in turn affects sentiment and decision-making.
“On top of both a Brexit deadline and a looming General Election, we’re also entering a quieter period seasonally, where we typically see the market slow down as people put their moving plans on hold until the New Year.
“Once the General Election has passed, and there’s clarity on how and when we’ll be leaving the EU, we hope there will be a degree of certainty which may trigger a flurry of activity in the New Year.”
Meanwhile, data for October from trade body UK Finance shows that mortgage approvals fell to a seven month low.
There were 41,219 mortgages approved in October, down from 42,216 in September.