Despite the expectation of a small seasonal drop, the fall in new property listings was significantly larger than market experts predicted.
- Supply of property fell by almost 50% across the UK, with 98% of towns and cities in the UK registering a drop
- December saw property increase in value by £4,000, with a lack of supply and continued high demand placing considerable upward pressure on property prices
- Experts and industry professionals are expecting prices to continue to rise during the year
New UK property listings coming to market plunged by 46.9% in December from the previous month, according to HouseSimple.com.
While a fall in property supply is not uncommon in December, the slowdown last month was sharper than usual, which could be a sign of things to come in the months ahead, according to the Chief Executive of the online estate agents, Alex Gosling.
He said: “The run-up to Christmas is chaotic, so most people wait until January to put their house on the market – as a result, a slowdown in new listings is pretty typical.
“But the December just gone was particularly slow and the fear is that this is a steep drop-off. How the job market and economy perform will be critical for the property market in the months ahead.”
Property listings dropped in 98% of towns and cities across the UK. The continued lack of supply is placing upwards pressure on property prices across the nation, with the average UK house price increasing by nearly £4,000 in December. This marked the fastest acceleration in values since the Brexit vote in June.
Prices rose by 1.7% in December alone, reaching a new all-time high of £222,484 and pushing the ratio of house prices to earnings to 5.81, just shy of its all-time high of 5.83 in July 2007.