Demand from buyers falls as sellers have to drop asking prices

Demand from buyers falls as sellers have to drop asking prices [Photo: iStock]

The number of people who were looking to buy homes in the UK fell to a six-month low in May this year, according to new data, which also shows there has been a fall in the volume of homes that manage to achieve their asking price when sold. 

The National Association of Estate Agents' (NAEA) data shows that there was a drop in the number of buyers per branch in May. During the month, the average branch registered some 350 buyers apiece. However, this was far lower than the 381 per branch experienced in April, representing a drop of eight per cent month on month. 

According to the NAEA, a decline in buyer numbers like this was not unexpected, given that prime minister Theresa May had only just announced that she would be pushing for a snap election some weeks later. 

"Periods of political uncertainty impact the way buyers and sellers interact with the housing market. In May, it looks like new buyers were stalling their house search until after the election," said Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive.

It was also discovered that in May, the number of homes that sold at asking price or above fell to 23 per cent, which represented the lowest volume recorded since October 2016. It was also a five per cent decrease when compared to the month before, showing a drastic fall month on month. 

The good news is that even though May saw a smaller number of buyers in the market, the prospects for the future look good, with more prospective buyers around at the moment, who will be looking to get onto the ladder at some point in the future. 

Results from the survey show that there are 15 per cent more prospective buyers around than there were at the same time last year, showing that the market still has the underlying potential for growth.