Property surveyors suggest that the slowdown in the housing market has been partly caused by uncertainty over the general election.
Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) have said that the election has contributed to the poor performance of the housing market in May.
Rics members claim that many people who may have been involved in housing transactions have adopted a ‘wait and see’ mentality.
The Rics survey also suggested that there were falls in both sales and demand over the course of May, and price growth slowed too.
On the whole, surveyors seem to expect prices to drop in the near future, but believe that they will recover in the mid- to long-term.
There was another record low in the average number of properties on the books of surveyors, with this average at just 43.
The Halifax recently revealed that annual house price inflation had dropped to 3.3 per cent during May, and house prices fell by 0.2 per cent over the quarter.
“The latest survey suggests that uncertainty related to the general election may have contributed to what appears to have been a disappointing level of transactions in the housing market over the spring,” said Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist.
He said he was particularly worried about the pipeline of new properties being put up for sale.
“The increasingly tight second-hand market remains a cause for concern with the RICS series tracking new instructions to agents recording its fifteenth successive negative reading.”
Property expert Henry Pryor said the election result could have a big impact on house prices.
“Will what I buy today be worth more or less on Friday?” is a question I am asked a lot. Some clients even delay exchanging contracts until after they know the result.”