December saw the fewest number of people put their homes on the market than in any month in 2017, according to online agency HouseSimple.
There were only 34,776 new properties listed in December across the UK as new stock levels fell by more than a third compared to November. As a comparison in June, the month of the General Election, 44,267 new properties were listed – the second lowest monthly supply level in 2017.
To compile this research, HouseSimple looked at the number of new properties marketed by all estate agents across 100 major UK towns and cities in December.
Only five locations – including Torquay, Newport and Worthing – saw a rise in home sellers last month. Meanwhile 10 towns saw at least a 50 per cent drop in new property listings in December, with Newquay and St Helens (both with a 63.8 per cent drop) and West Bromwich (61.1 per cent) registering the biggest falls in new property supply.
Across London fewer than 13,500 people put their properties on the market in December, the lowest number of new sellers in any month last year by some margin. New listings fell 39.1 per cent last month compared to November and for the second month running, every London borough saw fewer sellers.
"Historically, we do tend to see an uplift in activity in January, and with the stamp duty cut incentivising first-time buyers to purchase, this will hopefully act as a stimulus to sellers who have been reluctant to market” says HouseSimple founder Alex Gosling.
“We expect 2018 to be another challenging year for the property market as the UK’s exit from the EU draws closer. House price growth is predicted to be flat or at best low single digits, but that should provide encouragement to buyers who have had to battle against rising prices for a number of years. For sellers, it’s the same message. There is no point in delaying putting your property on the market if you need or want to move. There are still plenty of buyers out there, and if you’re committed you will sell.”