Over half (50.4%) of UK towns and cities saw their property supply fall over the month of May, according to the Property Supply Index compiled by Housesimple.com.
Rise and fall
The Index revealed that while overall supply was up by 4.8%, there was a distinct divide across the UK. Some areas saw large increases while others experienced significant drops compared to the previous month.
The Midlands enjoyed a large share of the increase in supply, with a third of those areas with the largest increases hailing from the area. Lichfield in the West Midlands saw an impressive 55.8% rise in new property listings, while Chesterfield and Rugby saw 35.7% and 32.5% respectively.
With the exception of Truro in Cornwall, which saw a 19% drop over May, the majority of the decreases were seen across northern areas. Southport saw the biggest drop, falling by 28% compared to May, with Loughborough (24.%), Runcorn (20.8%) and Halifax (19.6%) also highlighting the dearth of new properties across these areas.
The capital saw an overall fall in property supply over May, with new listings dropping by 2.4%. This continued the trend from April, which saw a decrease of 0.8%. The borough of Bexley in particular saw the most dramatic change, going from a spiked increase of 58.9% in April to a 28.3% plummet in May, while the City of Westminster saw the biggest fall, dropping by a third.
Once again, the overall trend was one of division, with half of London’s boroughs seeing a rise in properties and the other half seeing a drop. Both Waltham Forest and Merton enjoyed a rise of over 30% through May, continuing April’s trend of increasing supply.
The Brexit effect?
What could be causing this drop in property supply across the country? According to Housesimple.com’s CEO Alex Gosling: “The scare tactics on both sides of the EU referendum debate are likely to be chipping away at the confidence of buyers and sellers.”
Yet it’s not all doom and gloom. Alex points out that the uncertainty around the EU referendum may actually help buyers negotiate with sellers keen to secure a purchase before 23rd June.
As in the supply of property, it seems there are two sides to every story.