Property market activity set to surge

Seller activity rose sharply just days after the outcome of the general election, with many estate agents nationwide witnessing a significant increase in the number of new property instructions compared with the final few days prior to the ballot, as a result of a post-election pick up in the market, and this could have a major impact on property prices. 

Residential property prices have continued to rise year-on-on-year in recent months, albeit on at a slower rate of growth, owed largely to the general lack of housing stock on the market, as many prospective vendors adopted a ‘wait and see’ attitude in the run-up to the election. 

But with the welcome certainty of single party government many house-hunters faced with restricted choice could soon find that they have significantly more properties to select from as the result of a post-election surge in homes for sale.

Various housing experts are expecting to see a major rise in the number of residential properties set to come onto the market in the coming weeks, now that the election uncertainty is over.

For instance, in the three months after the May 2010 election, the volume of homes which came on to the market rose by almost one-fifth compared to the previous three-month period. And with many estate agents now reporting a rise in the number of homeowners putting their properties up for sale, in light of the fact that there is no hung-parliament uncertainty, history looks set to repeat itself.

Purchasers should note that if there is a surge of property supply in the coming weeks and months, home price growth will almost certainly slow, or may even fall, as the supply-demand imbalance, which has fuelled growth in recent months, narrows.

However, this is likely to prove to be a post-election-driven price stall which gives some buyers only short-term relief from the back-drop of a long-term housing shortage, with prices set to continue rising in the medium to long term.