Rightmove: Election fears slowed housing market

David and Samantha Cameron celebrate the Tory victory

David and Samantha Cameron celebrate the Tory victory

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The price of homes for sale in England and Wales fell in the run-up to the May 7 general election and are likely to start picking up again now that the political uncertainty has lifted, property website Rightmove said on Monday.

Asking prices for homes slipped by a monthly 0.1 per cent, according to a survey by Rightmove conducted between April 12 and May 9.

That was the first May fall since just before the previous election in May 2010.

“This is an election-driven price stall which gives some buyers only short-term relief from the back-drop of a long-term housing shortage,” said Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s housing market analyst.

“Many estate agents are now reporting a resurgence in interest following the surprise election result.”

The monthly drop in prices reduced the annual increase to 2.5 per cent, the smallest rise since April 2013.

But prices might not bounce back quickly, because sellers are likely to put their properties up for sale after the election, Rightmove said, lifting supply.

In the three months after the May 2010 election, the number of properties coming to market jumped by 17 per cent compared to the previous three-month period, it said.

Other measures of the housing market have shown prices picking up pace after they slowed in much of 2014 when regulators introduced tougher controls on mortgage lending.

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