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Property supply bounced back in May as sellers looked to market properties ahead of the General Election

Property supply across the UK was up 7% in May, after dropping 4% in April, according to the latest Property Supply Index from online estate agents HouseSimple.com


After a lethargic April supply levels have bounced back in May as sellers look to market their properties and secure an offer before the General Election result with nearly 80% of towns and cities seeing an increase in new property listings.


According to HouseSimple.com research, supply levels have swung widely in many areas over the past couple of months, which is symptomatic of the low levels of stock estate agents have on their books. For example, Oldham and Northampton have both seen seesawing supply in April and May, with new listings up significantly in April but falling back in May. Oldham experienced a 42.4% rise in supply levels in April but a 43.7% drop in May while Northampton saw a 30.2% rise in April and a 25.2% drop-off last month. New property listings for May also fell in Blackburn (-26%),


The biggest increase in new property listings in May was Barnsley (74.6%), followed by Wolverhampton (52.1%) and Canterbury (51.9%).


The rises and falls in property supply in May, across the 32 London Boroughs, were far less pronounced than in April. Overall, new property listings were up 5.2% in the capital last month. Two areas that did see extremes in supply levels were Newham and Sutton. Newham saw new listings rise 23.5% in May compared to a 15.8% fall in April. While, Sutton saw listings fall 28.1% in May, after a similarly dramatic drop-off (19.2%) last month. Only seven boroughs saw a fall in property supply in May.


 “Political and economic uncertainty surrounding a General Election can often see sellers hold off marketing until after the result is known. However, the 7% rise in May suggests many sellers aren’t waiting and marketed their properties last month to try and secure an offer before the Election result,” said Alex Gosling, CEO of HouseSimple.


“There is something to be said for doing this. The Spring period, traditionally a buoyant time for the property market, has been knocked off kilter by Article 50 being invoked and the PM calling a General Election. As a result, we could see a late Spring bounce after the Election result, with a stampede of sellers putting their properties onto the market before the summer holidays. It doesn’t give home sellers a lot of time to secure a sale and the savvy and committed seller, willing to negotiate on price could well have seen an opportunity to beat this stampede and steal a march on their competition.”


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