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NAEA, Foxtons and LSL blame election for slump

Demand for property is at the lowest level it has been since March 2014, according to the National Association of Estate Agents.

There are just 343 house hunters registered per branch compared to 366 in February, and 406 in September 2014, when demand was at its highest in recent times. Meanwhile supply is up 12 per cent from an average of 43 to 48 homes per branch. 

As housing policies have dominated all three main parties’ manifestos, almost two thirds of NAEA member agents believe house-hunters are holding off to see what the election result holds.

Only 22 per cent of total sales were made to first time buyers in March this year – down eight per cent from February. There were 10 sales in total per branch, on average, in March compared to eight in February.

Meanwhile Foxtons, too, blames a pre-election lull for its poor figures. 

The agency reports revenues of £33.1m between January and March, 3.1 per cent lower than the first quarter of 2014.

Sales commissions were down nearly 12 per cent at £15.5m although lettings were predictably strong - up 5.4 per cent to £15.9m. 

“Property sales transactions in London have remained relatively flat since the end of last year with many potential buyers and sellers apparently delaying their decisions until the outcome of the general election is known” says Foxtons chief executive Nic Budden.

LSL chain agencies Your Move and Reeds Rains have also produced data showing a slump, this time particularly applying to first time buyers.

They say the total number of FTB transactions for the first quarter of 2015 stood at 60,900, a sharp fall from 79,900 in 2014 Q4 and the lowest quarterly total for two years. 


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