The online estate agent’s Property Supply Index looks at property listings across 100 major towns and cities in the UK. It found that 67,931 properties were marketed by agents last month, compared to 47,413 in March last year.
The firm noted that the number of new properties listed in March 2017 had fallen by more than 27% on the previous month, pointing out buyer and seller confidence had been hit by fears that the triggering of Article 50 – which took place that month – would cause economic issues.
In contrast, March 2018 saw a 1.1% increase in listings from the previous month.
HouseSimple pointed out that there was almost a 50:50 split between towns that saw an increase in new sellers in March and those where new seller numbers fell.
The biggest uplift in property listings was in Chichester, with a jump of 47.1%. This was followed by Durham (32.9%) and Bootle (29.4%).
At the other end of the scale, Rochdale saw listings fall by 26.3%. It was followed by Sale and Bath with falls of 23.7% and 22.7% respectively.
Listings in the capital were up by 4.4% on February, with Newham seeing the most striking increase; listings jumped 45.1% over the month, significantly more than the next highest borough Barnet, which saw a growth of 16.8%.
Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer of the firm, pointed out the traditionally busy early spring market had been disrupted by inclement weather, and argued that now the snow had melted the next few months would be “a very busy period”.
He continued: “Saying that, we still saw quite a few opportunistic sellers marketing last month hoping to steal a march on the competition and secure a sale while fewer properties were being listed.
“Seller activity has already picked up noticeably since Easter, and in the current buyer’s market, the successful seller will be the one who stands out from the crowd; whether that’s pricing their property realistically or offering a superior product to the market.”