Buyer demand and new instructions slipped yet again in May as the market awaits the General Election outcome, surveyors claimed this morning.
The latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey showed that a growing number of its estate agent members cited a decline in new instructions, in the 15th consecutive negative month.
Consequently, RICS said, stock levels remain stuck at all-time lows with the average number of unsold homes on estate agents’ books at 43.
Agreed sales also continued to decline for a second month running with 8% more respondents seeing a fall in agreed sales.
Despite the drop in sales, the average time taken to complete a transaction held steady at 16 weeks in May, RICS said.
The report claims there has consistently been a fall in property coming on to the market over the past two years, but says anecdotal evidence from respondents to the survey in May suggests this latest drop may have been exacerbated by the General Election.
Surveyors are more optimistic about the next 12 months, anticipating an increase in activity and price rises.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The increasingly tight secondhand market remains a cause for concern, with the RICS series tracking new instructions to agents recording its 15th successive negative reading.
“It is hard to see this as anything other than a major obstacle to the efficient functioning of the housing market.”