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Brexit blamed for fall in asking prices

Asking prices in the UK have dropped as Brexit uncertainty takes its toll, new figures show. 

According to fresh data from Rightmove, the average price of property coming to the market fell by 0.2%, or £730, this month, the first fall at this time of year since 2010. 

Buy-to-let investors looking to add to their portfolio should take note of the fact that heightened political uncertainty is causing some to hesitate, giving a better negotiating opportunity to autumn buyers. 

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Many have got used to living in the jaws of uncertainty since the referendum over three years ago, and have been getting on with their lives and housing moves. However, as we approach yet another Brexit deadline, there are signs that the increasing gnashing of teeth is causing some to hesitate. 

“The autumn bounce normally kicks off at the same time as kids go back to school, but this year it’s a late starter at best, and if uncertainty persists then the autumn term could be missed altogether and its activities be delayed until the new year. Those who are planning to buy or trade up and can keep their nerve whilst others hesitate may find that they are in a stronger negotiating position to get a favourable deal.”

The number of sales agreed is down in all regions compared to a year ago, with the 5.5% drop a marked reversal from the 6.1% increase in sales agreed that Rightmove reported a month ago. 

The data also shows that the number of properties coming to market is down by 7.8% this month compared to the same period a year ago, again with all regions down on the prior year. 

The annual rate of price increase drops to just 0.2%, buoyed by the north and dragged down by parts of the south. 

Shipside added: “In August we reported a pre-Brexit buying spree with the number of sales agreed up by over 6% compared to the prior year, as buyers and sellers decided to get deals secured well before the next Brexit deadline.  A month later, as the deadline gets closer and tensions heighten, there has been a big swing the other way with sales agreed numbers now over 5% below those of a year ago. 

“Buying activity is still at nearly 95% of what it was a year ago, but sellers in all regions are seeing fewer sales go through, so should be more willing to negotiate with prospective buyers if they want or need to get a deal done.”

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