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Price cutting intensifies in housing market as Brexit and Xmas break loom

Latest house price index from Rightmove reveals faster-than-usual seasonal softening of house prices as Brexit continues to wreak havoc on seller confidence.

Nigel Lewis

The UK experienced its first year-on-year average house price drop since 2011 last month, the latest Rightmove house price index reveals.

The figures, which are for newly-marketed homes coming on to the market, show that on average prices during October were 0.2% lower than a year ago and down by 1.7% month-on-month.

This is partly due to the waning fortunes of London and its satellite commuter towns which are now in steep decline. Esher’s average house price dropped by 6.4%, Rickmansworth’s by 7.1% and Gerrards Cross’s by 6%.

“There has been an increase in the number of price reductions this year, but this is partly due to the UK being in the final throes of Brexit negotiations and the uncertainty which this has brought to the market,” says Richard Freshwater, a director of Cambridge estate agency Cheffins (left).

“This has been compacted in the later months of the year in the run up to Christmas as part of the usual annual slow down during the winter months.”

But Rightmove says the fundamentals of the UK’s property market remain ‘sound’ as continuing low interest rates, healthy employment levels and inflation-busting wage increases help soften the ‘Brexit effect’.

Surprise sales hike

The company  says the number of homes sold last month increased by 1% and that “while many thought that the down-to-the-wire Brexit deal uncertainty would hold people back from buying, more buyers have actually jumped in,” says Rightmove’s housing market analyst Miles Shipside.

Rightmove also says the average level of stock is holding steady, running at 52 properties per agency since August.

Andy Solomon image“With the growing stench of a stale Brexit, let alone a no-deal Brexit, and with Cabinet members dropping like Christmas tree pine-needles, it’s little surprise that the property market is preparing for the worst,” says Andy Soloman CEO of live chat provider Yomdel (right).

 

November 19, 2018

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