Property market falls flat
If you thought politics was the only thing that was stagnant in Britain, think again.
The property market is suffering at the moment, especially if you are looking to sell.
UK house prices have registered their lowest October rise since the 2008 financial crisis as Brexit uncertainty continues to take its toll, according to the property website Rightmove.
Its data also showed that some parts of London are continuing to see asking prices fall, in some cases by £15,000 or more in a month.
The price of property coming to market at this time of year usually experiences an “autumn bounce,” with an average rise of 1.6% recorded in the month of October over the last 10 years – but this year saw a “more sluggish” monthly rise of 0.6%, which was the lowest since October 2008.
The current state of the housing market combined with the ongoing political uncertainty from Brexit appears to be putting off many would-be sellers. Rightmove’s average number of new house sale listings per week has fallen to just over 24,000 – its lowest at this time of year since October 2009. This is down 13.5% on the same period a year ago.
By contrast, many buyers “seem undeterred”, with the number of sales being agreed virtually unchanged on a year ago, according to the site, whose latest data was based on the asking prices of more than 122,000 properties put on sale between 8 September and 12 October.
Miles Shipside, a Rightmove director, said: “With upwards pricing power now pretty flat, some sellers who are motivated by maximising their money seem to be holding back. They may be waiting for more certainty around both achieving their price aspirations, and also the Brexit outcome.”
Marc von Grundherr, at the estate agent Benham & Reeves, said that while the sector was more subdued than usual, “the UK property market is yet to disappear down the Brexit abyss”.
Rightmove’s detailed data paints a mixed picture for London, with some boroughs seeing sizeable price falls and others experiencing price growth.
The average price of a home in Kingston upon Thames, south-west London, has fallen by more than £17,000 in a month – from £605,000 in September to £587,000 in October. Wandsworth in south London recorded a typical £16,000 price fall. But in other boroughs, including Britain’s most expensive area, Kensington and Chelsea, average prices continued to climb.
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