A 36 per cent collapse in sales between November and January has created an “unprecedented” five year low in the number of exchanges.
The software company has compared its most recent three months of sales data with the five-year average for the same November-January period in order to gauge the impact of uncertainty on the property market in the build-up to the UK quitting the EU.
By analysing data from thousands of estate agents’ offices, it found what it calls “strong indicators of a stalled market across the board.”
Every data point was down on the five-year average, from the initial market appraisals through to exchange of contracts and ultimate sale.
Gary Barker, chief executive of Reapit, says: “Our research sheds light on the extent to which Brexit uncertainty has affected property transactions in the past three months. Our data reveal that property sales per estate agent have dropped by a third when compared to the long-term average.
“This 36 per cent drop in sales represents an unprecedented five-year November-January low. It’s doubly concerning for estate agents because seasonally, this is a quieter period for transactions compared to the summer months.
“It’s fair to say that the housing market is holding its breath as we await the Brexit outcome. Nobody wants to risk being on the wrong side of a potential house price crash, so the market sentiment is to wait and see.”
Specifically, Reapit’s research has discovered that:
- The average number of exchanges recorded per estate agent office dropped by 36 per cent, when compared to the long-term average;
- Properties under offer were down eight per cent on the long-term average;
- Instructions of new properties were down 10 per cent;
- Viewings of properties were down five per cent;
- Market appraisals of properties were down 2.5 per cent.
However, Barker insists there is a silver lining - or at least there will be when Brexit is finally sorted.
“Once we have clarity, the pent-up demand of people waiting to buy, and supply of people waiting to sell, will see an upswing in activity for the housing industry. Regardless of politics, life goes on and people need to move homes. Agents need to be prepared when the floodgates are opened.”