Property sales slowed dramatically in April as the market readjusted following the frenzy of buying before the stamp duty surcharge deadline according to LSL Property Services.
The property group says that while March saw a record 97,500 home sales – the most since November 2007 – this April there were an estimated 20,000 fewer sales than usually expected for the month.
“Many homeowners may now decide to wait until after the EU vote before selling their homes, despite significant demand from buyers, so we could see this shortfall continue until June” says Your Move and Reeds Rains director Adrian Gill.
He also warns that “there is now a severe shortage of properties on the market, with fierce competition between buyers for each available property.”
Peter Williams and John Tindale, who compile the index for LSL, add in their commentary that: “We estimate that the number of housing transactions in England and Wales for March, as recorded by the Land Registry, will total some 97,500 properties - Land Registry currently has some 91,500 transactions recorded on its books, with a further 6,000 properties likely to be added to this total as more data emerge.
“This total is 30,000 larger than we would have ‘normally’ expected for the time of year. Conversely, we estimate that in April 2016 only 47,500 transactions will have taken place, approximately 20,000 less than anticipated” they say.
The analysts predict that May there will see a further shortfall in transactions, although of a slightly lesser scale,”and further distortion is likely to arise in June as a consequence of the Brexit referendum.”
They say the market is set for a bumpy ride over the next few months, only returning to the new ‘norm’ for 2016 from July onwards.