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Seasonal slump hits house movers
5th December 2017

The usual pre-Christmas drop in new listings with estate agents has hit harder than usual this year with figures down nearly a quarter overall and over two thirds of UK towns and cities seeing a decline, according to the latest Property Supply Index from online estate agent HouseSimple.com.

Among the worst hit was Bath where new listings were halved, and Watford with 40% fewer new sellers advertising their properties last month. Every London borough saw a decrease in listings, led by Kingston upon Thames at 42.5%.

Highest increases were Newquay at 62%, Truro 56% and Lichfield 43%.

HouseSimple CEO Alex Gosling said: “There tends to be a drop off in activity as we approach Christmas, but this year the slowdown has started earlier. It’s been a tough year for the property market having to contend with the aftermath of a disastrous General Election and the fallout from Article 50 being invoked. And with generally negative Brexit news every day, that takes its toll. Homeowners may be feeling a little jaded and simply decided it’s best to take stock and start afresh in January.

“On a more positive note, the housing market received a welcome boost in the Autumn Budget, with the Chancellor announcing that he was cutting stamp duty for first time buyers. This will hopefully stimulate the bottom end of the market, and feed through to increased housing supply as people further up the chain see more active buyers. More than ever, we need a strong first quarter as 2018 is set to be a challenging year as Brexit talks gather pace.”

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