Agency listings up 2.6% annually despite fears of lacklustre autumn rush

Agents are listing more new properties than a year ago, data shows.

Analysis of agency listings by HouseSimple from Home.co.uk, based on 100 major UK towns and cities, found there were 68,598 homes put on the market last month.

This is up 2.6% annually but down 5.5% from the 72,593 listings in September.

A spokesman added that one may have expected the annual figure to have been higher given the property market may have still been reeling from the shock hung parliament election result last year.

The biggest decrease was in St Helens, with listings down 33.8% on a monthly basis, while King’s Lynn saw the largest increase at 45.3% over the same period.

Sam Mitchell, chief executive of HouseSimple, said: “After supply picked up in September, we were hoping this would lead to healthy new stock levels up to Christmas.

“But the resurgence in listings was rather short-lived as new supply fell again in October.

“This can hardly be considered a collapse, but stock levels have been bouncing along at the bottom of the barrel for some time now, and no one seems to know how to boost supply.

“Building new homes will help in the longer term, and the Government has set lofty house building targets, but we need more available stock now, not in three to five years.

“The Chancellor could have helped stimulate the market in his latest Budget by cutting Stamp Duty for older down-sizers, to boost stock at the top end of the market, but he chose instead to hit landlords.

“The immediate issue is that a combination of interest rate rises, Brexit fears, and a barrage of negative news surrounding house prices, has spooked home owners.

“But it’s not all doom and gloom, and people do still need to move for a multitude of reasons. Life has to go on, and anyone who is committed to moving shouldn’t let the economic and market conditions dictate their decision making.”

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