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Auctions: Post Election Reaction

General elections are, or at least are supposed to be, a barometer of sentiment in the nation state. On the other hand auctions are often regarded as a barometer of the state of the property market. So in this report we will bring the two together and look at how the property auction market fared prior to May's UK general election and how it might have reacted since.

Earlier in the year many investors may have shared the opinion that buyers were putting off purchase decisions until the colour of the next government was clear. So is there any truth in this? Without making any reference to the election, official statistics do confirm that both property sales and mortgage lending were lower in April 2015 than in April 2014. The latest figures from the Land Registry say that house sales were down 5.6% over the year, while the Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that mortgage lending was down 4% over the year.

Essential Information Group's latest auction returns also indicate that sales by auction declined in April. They report that both the number of lots offered and sold at auction fell for a fourth consecutive month, largely due to sizeable falls in the residential property market.

esidential lots offered and lots sold were both down on April 2014, by 9% and 8.4% respectively, although the total raised grew by 2.5% to reach £206.8m. However it was very much a 'tale of two sectors' as the commercial market enjoyed strong growth with lots offered up a significant 18% over the year to April 2015 and lots sold up a very significant 28%.

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