Massive slump in housing demand

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Demand for property dropped by a fifth in April while supply of available housing also fell

Demand for housing plummeted to its lowest level in two years last month, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

The trade body noted that the number of house-hunters registered per branch in April fell to 325 – its lowest level since March 2014, and a drop of 22% from 417 the previous month.

The supply of houses available for buyers also decreased by a third (35%) – from 54 properties available in March, to 35 in April.

Threat of Brexit

One in four estate agents expect house prices to fall and a further one in four reckon demand will decrease if Britain votes to leave the EU in June.

The recent NAEA and ARLA Brexit report revealed that, by 2018, a Brexit would reduce the average UK house price by £2,300 to £300,900. However, if Britain remains in the EU, the average UK home could cost £303,000 by 2018.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said: “It’s no surprise that demand dropped significantly in April. Eight in 10 agents saw an increase in purchasers trying to beat the buy-to-let stamp duty changes before the April 1st deadline, so we expected to see a slow-down immediately following the deadline.”