Political uncertainty may have led to many property buyers and sellers sitting tight in May, according to the latest UK Residential Market Survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyers (RICS)
Enquiries from new buyers, new instructions from sellers and agreed sales in the housing market all declined in May, the report said, while national house price growth also slowed.
Anecdotal evidence from RICS members suggested that fall in activity could be down to the election, with many people choosing to adopt a “wait and see” approach.
“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.
Just over one in four respondents (26%) said that they expected to see an increase in activity over the next few months.
Most surveyors expect house prices to continue to slow further over the next few months, but to recover in the longer term, with a lack of supply continuing to support prices.
According to Halifax, house price inflation fell to 3.3% in the year to May, down from 3.8% in the year to April.
More positively, rock bottom mortgage rates mean that owning a home is more affordable, with the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) recently reporting strong first-time buyer numbers.
Homeowners can also benefit from record low rates by reviewing their mortgages and seeing if they can remortgage to a cheaper deal.
Demand for property slows in May