The uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum result caused demand for new property to slip to the lowest levels seen for over three years.
Research from the National Association of Estate Agents shows that the number of property sales agreed in the last month fell sharply.
There were an average of 304 house hunters registered per member branch during May, down 6% from April and the lowest levels seen since November 2013.
In addition, the statistics show that in comparison to May 2015, demand has fallen by 21% year-on-year.
Similarly to demand, the supply of properties available to buyers rose marginally from 35 properties to buy per branch in April to 37 in May.
During the last month, 41% of agents suggested that house prices would fall. 30% said that demand would decrease as a result of the referendum result.
Despite the number of house hunters per branch falling in the last month, the number of sales to first-time buyers increased, albeit marginally.
Mark Hayward, director of the National Association of Estate Agents, said, ‘the EU referendum, without doubt meant that May was a month of uncertainty for potential house buyers and demand dropped significantly and is currently at the lowest level we have seen in the last three years.’
‘As a result of the vote for a Brexit, we expect international investors to look a lot harder at the UK as a potential market to buy in and this will have a knock-on effect on the house building sector, as investments may be delayed or put off completely,’ he continued.
Demand for UK property at lowest for 3 years
Short term stability
Hayward appreciates, ‘in the short term, we believe that house prices will remain stable, we cannot be certain about the next quarter as political uncertainty and market unrest could affect the housing market.’
However, he continued by saying, ‘as we continue to say, there are simply not a sufficient number of houses available in this country to cater for everyone’s needs and a Brexit could impact the skills required to drive property developments in the UK. This means that in the longer term, something will need to give which regrettably could mean a surge in house prices or buyers struggling to find a suitable property in order to move or get that first foot on the ladder.’