Housing demand slows in April, says NAEA

New figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) show that housing demand has slowed down in April.

Figures suggest the number of house-hunters registered per estate agency fell during the month, with 381 seen per branch. Comparatively, this figure was 397 in March and approached 425 in January and February.

The political uncertainty in the country has had a mixed impact on the sector and wider construction industry. However, caution is not unusual during periods of change. The 2015 General Election saw the number of planning permissions granted fall, with housebuilder Persimmon warning at the time it was becoming increasingly difficult to get applications approved.

During this election it is not surprising many buyers and sellers have adopted a wait and see approach. This means the supply of homes fell in April with 36 properties available to buy per branch. This figure stood at 39 in March.

Furthermore, sales figures also dropped from 10 in March to eight in April. However, first-time buyers remain on the move, with the proportion of sales remaining at 25 per cent.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark said: “Buyers and sellers alike are recognising this and adopting a ‘wait and see’ strategy to decipher how or if the value of their existing or future homes will be affected.

“However, despite the fact that increasing housing stock is playing a part in the election campaigning, more often than not we find these pledges are unachievable and turn out to be empty promises.

“It’s therefore important that the market doesn’t totally stall as this could trigger an unintended domino effect, which we could still feel the effect of years later before supply increases.

“A business as usual approach will ensure house-hunters are met with a healthy supply of properties to view, and sellers get a fair price and a good buyer.”