U.K. Home-Price Growth Slows as Election Cools Market Demand

Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

U.K. home-price inflation slowed to the least in more than a year last month as uncertainty surrounding next month’s election damped activity.

Prices rose an annual 5.6 percent, down from 6.8 percent in February and marking the smallest increase since November 2013, LSL Property Services and Acadata said in a report Friday. While sales increased almost 12 percent, this was half the increase expected during the spring property season, they said.

“With the general election tightening its tempo every week up until May 7, cautious buyers are holding back to wait and see which way the chips fall,” said Adrian Gill, director of Your Move estate agents. “This is far from a typical year.”

Housing has appeared prominently in the main political parties’ manifestos in the run-up to the election, with leaders proposing to build more homes to increase supply and help first-time buyers. Still, the threat of new regulation and taxes is a concern for buyers, according to LSL.

“Property regulation is a hot topic in one of the most uncertain U.K. elections in a generation,” Gill said. “No one wants to have the rug pulled from under their feet before they’ve made it through the front door.”

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