More than three quarters of homes are selling below asking price

Emma Haslett
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Summer is peak house-moving season, said Hayward (Source: Getty)

More than three quarters of homes were sold for less than asking price in May, new figures have shown - as the number of homes for sale rises.

Some three per cent of properties sold for more than asking price in May, a report by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) showed, down from seven per cent in April and the lowest figure since October.

Meanwhile, 77 per cent of homes sold at below asking price, up from 72 per cent in April.

The report also showed the number of prospective buyers registering with estate agents fell from 381 people per branch in April to 350 in May, although that was up from 304 at the same time last year.

The number of homes available rose 11 per cent to 40 per branch, up from 37 per branch in May last year.

The report is another sign of cooling in the UK housing sector. Figures published last week by Rightmove suggested house prices fell in June for the first time since 2009.

Separate figures published by the British Bankers' Association showed the number of mortgages approved for house purchase fell 3.3 per cent in the year to May.

Today Mark Hayward, chief executive of the NAEA, blamed political uncertainty for dampening the market.

“As a rule of thumb, periods of political uncertainty impact the way buyers and sellers interact with the housing market," he said.

"In May, it looks like new buyers were stalling their house search until after the election; however the number of sales agreed per branch increased meaning the political landscape hasn’t deterred all house hunters.

"Following the result of the general election, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts over the coming months as summer is peak house-moving season.”

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