Brexit has “smashed property market sentiment to smithereens”, according to Jonathan Samuels, the chief executive of the property lender Octane Capital.
Buying and selling property requires confidence but confidence, as we edge closer to Brexit, is close to zero, the CEO said.
For countless prospective buyers, Brexit has put everything on hold.
He commented: “What growth there is, is in the north, which hasn’t experienced the over exuberant price inflation of the capital and other areas of the south.”
Samuels’ comments follow the release of Nationwide’s December House Price Index, whixch shows that UK house prices grew at an annual pace of just 0.5% in December, the slowest annual rate since February 2013.
The mortgage lender says uncertainty over the economic outlook appears to be undermining confidence in the market, with the average price of a residential property falling by 0.7% from November, the biggest monthly drop since July 2012.
London and surrounding areas saw a marginal fall in property prices last year.
Northern Ireland saw the biggest rise values, up 5.8%. Prices in Wales climbed 4%, in Scotland they were up 0.9% and in England they rose 0.7%.
Both monthly and annual readings were below all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists.
Andy Soloman, CEO of Yomdel, said the slowdown in house price growth was striking, and demonstrates that the UK property market “is far from match fit” as it finishes the year with “more of a whimper than a bang”.
He commented: “This slowdown in house price growth has, of course, been exacerbated by the wider political landscape and the continued issues surrounding Brexit. This European hangover will no doubt stretch far beyond the Christmas and New Year and will continue to be a factor over the coming months.