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Buyers could withdraw from deals amid coronavirus fears, warning

Property supply was falling even before the coronavirus hit, while any accepted offers could now be withdrawn after the outbreak of the virus, reports suggest.

Analysis by property website found supply of new sales stock was down 2% annually across the UK in February, and this, combined with already low stock levels, pushed average asking prices up 1.1% on a monthly basis – the largest rise over a month since July 2015.

Properties are selling faster, though, with typical time on the market for sales properties in England and Wales at 111 days, equal to that of March 2019.

In the rental sector, warned supply was down 17% annually.

Doug Shephard, director of, claimed: “For the time being, Brexit hysteria has been replaced by coronavirus hysteria but the British property market marches on stoically nonetheless.”

Separately, analysis by removals and conveyancing comparison website predicted house price growth of 5.9% between March and May according to quotes requested on its website.

This is based on offers accepted on listings between December and February but comes with the caveat that many deals could collapse in the coming weeks and months due to the virus.

Rob Houghton, chief executive of, said: “Buyers returned to the market in their droves in the New Year and this activity has clearly translated through to higher house prices across the country between March and May, but now we are facing another potentially prolonged period of uncertainty due to the deepening coronavirus crisis.

“The current situation is unprecedented but we know from past events such as the global financial crisis in 2008 that when people were worried about their jobs and their pensions, they tend to withdraw from making big financial decisions and avoid taking on new debt.

“It’s too early to say the extent to which the property market will be affected, and the Bank of England’s emergency 0.5% interest rate cut should help mitigate the impact, but consumer confidence is fragile and I expect we will see a proportion of deals collapsing and a short-term drop in prices by late spring or early summer.”


Source: Property Industry Eye

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Gap between property supply and demand widens

The number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch increased by 22% to 382 from December to January, NAEA Propertymark’s January Housing Report has found.

However, the number of properties available per member branch fell from 41 to 38, meaning the gap between supply and demand has increased.

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, said: “It’s positive to see the New Year has brought some much-needed confidence to the market, with a significant increase in demand from house hunters following the General Election result.

“As the Spring Budget fast approaches, we hope to see housing as a priority for the new Chancellor.

“A clear strategy is needed to tackle key issues such as stamp duty costs, which needs to be addressed in its entirety to encourage more frequent moves, improve affordability and relax punitive financial tax on home movers.”

The number of house hunters is the highest figure seen since September 2019, when there were 387 prospective buyers registered.

The amount of properties available has fallen to its lowest level since June 2019, when there were 37.


Source: Property Wire