Data released by TwentyCi outlines a subdued property market in the final months of 2018.
In the last quarter of last year, new instructions were up 4 per cent on an annual basis, the research shows. However, this did not equate to an equal rise in exchanges, with a 1.2 per cent fall in the number of properties going on to exchange.
Despite a 2 per cent rise in property exchanges year-on-year for under 35-year olds, which is representative of first-time buyers, exchanges decreased across all other age groups.
The firm reports a 7 per cent decline in 36-45-year old exchangers and a 6 per cent fall for those over 66.
The research also collected predictions for the housing market in 2019. Of particular note is Halifax’s expectation of 4 per cent by the end of 2019 “despite current political upheaval.”
EY Club chief economic adviser Howard Archer comments: “The fundamentals for house buyers currently remain challenging. Consumers have faced an extended serious squeeze on purchasing power, which is only gradually easing.
“Additionally, housing market activity remains hampered by relatively fragile consumer confidence and limited willingness to engage in major transactions.
“However, a no-deal Brexit is unlikely to bring about a slump while the number of homes for sale remains relatively low.”
TwentyCi chief customer officer Colin Bradshaw says: “The lackluster volume of properties coming to market has the potential to thwart demand. The first quarter of 2019 and the outcome of the Brexit process will determine the outcome for the next 12-months.
“An orderly Brexit and consumer confidence and pent up demand may be released fuelling a property market upturn.
“The opposite, as the Bank of England has warned, could cause a temporary but significant hiatus within the UK property market. Whilst many indicators show that property prices are remaining stable and not falling this is the undoubtedly the direct impact of a lack of supply.”