Online estate agent HouseSimple.com tracked the number of new properties marketed over the month, in more than 100 major towns and cities across the UK and all London boroughs. Of the areas that saw the biggest falls in supply, just under half (47%) were in the North of England.
The towns and cities that saw the biggest fall in supply were Southport and Loughborough, where the supply of new property listings fell 28% and 24.1% respectively.
New properties listed across the capital fell by 2.4%, following a fall of 0.8% in April. The City of Westminster saw the biggest fall in supply – down 33% in May compared to April, following an 18% spike in April. The borough of Bexley also saw a significant fall following a huge peak in April, when new property listings were up almost 60%.
Although many areas saw supply levels fall in May, Lichfield in the West Midlands experienced a massive 55.8% rise in new property listings in May compared to April, while Chesterfield and Rugby saw 36% and 32.5% respective rises in the same period. Of the areas that saw the biggest increases in supply, a third were in the Midlands.
Alex Gosling, CEO of HouseSimple.com, queried whether the drop in supply in many parts of the UK was due to the “Brexit effect”.
“The scare tactics on both sides of the EU referendum debate are likely to be chipping away at the confidence of buyers and sellers. And with the Brexit vote less than three weeks away, we could well see a significant drop off in activity at a time when historically there is a lot of activity in the property market.
“On the flip side, this could actually provide an opportunity for prospective buyers, who have their finance in place and can move fast, as they may be able to negotiate a good deal with motivated sellers keen to tie up a sale before 23 June.”