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Fall in housing availability

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The availability of housing fell in October to reach its lowest level since June, according to a posting by Property Reporter.

Continued uncertainty about Brexit, an imminent general election, and the beginning of a typically quieter market this time of year, are widely believed to have discouraged homeowners and house hunters from thinking about a move until the dust has settled somewhat.

Sales to first-time buyers, for example, fell from 30% of all transactions in September to 27% in October.

Estate agents have also registered an overall declining interest from those interested in buying a home. The number of those on the books of the average local agent has dropped by 12% in the month – to 341 from the previous month’s 387.

Taking the year as a whole, however, the market appears more optimistic, with demand rising from 294 prospective buyers in October 2018 to the current 341.

Despite the quieter market, house prices appear to remain more or less stable. As we reported last month, the average price of a house in the UK is currently £232,249. Although there was a slight drop in average prices during both September and October, during the year to October prices increased by 0.9% overall.

With the general election completed on the 12th of December and the next deadline for the UK’s exit from the EU on the 31st of January, many commentators are predicting a renewed flurry of activity in the housing market soon into the New Year.