UK property market recovering from ‘referendum wobble’

The latest report from Rightmove shows the UK property market has recovered following a dip immediately after the Brexit vote in June.

London property market following Brexit
Further evidence that the UK property market has bounced back after dipping in the immediate aftermath of June's referendum on EU membership, emerged on Monday in the latest report from RightmoveThe online property portal said that asking prices had increased by £2,277 over the past month, a 0.7 per cent rise since 20 August, which took the average asking price for a home in England and Wales to £306,499. Prices fell by more than £6,000 in July following the Brexit vote.Rightmove said the biggest increases had occurred in homes with two bedrooms or fewer, which increased 3.3 per cent over the month to 19 September, representing an annual rise of 10.5 per cent and taking the average to £194,477.Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said, "Some of those trying to get onto the property ladder may have wistfully listened to speculation of lower prices in a post-Brexit Britain."While the referendum result has created additional downwards price pressure in some upper segments of the market that were already slowing, those who do not own a home and arguably have the greatest housing need are now finding it harder to achieve their goal in the post-Brexit vote aftermath."Ironically the post-referendum uncertainty has made some sellers of larger and higher value homes more willing to negotiate, making it easier for those already on the ladder to trade up."There appear to be no such positives at present for those hoping to get onto the property ladder, especially as agents report more (buy-to-let) investor activity attracted by better returns than available elsewhere. The rising tide of prices is marooning more and more first-time buyers."

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Mr Shipside said that, generally, the effects of the referendum look to have waned. In August, there were asking price falls in eight out of ten regions but, by September, prices had risen or were flat in seven out of ten."The market continues to shake off the effect of post-Brexit vote uncertainty, though more so in the lower end sector," he said. "Buyers are still looking and inquiring, but there are limits on their willingness or ability to pay over the odds so sellers should be wary of over-pricing unless their local market can really justify it."London, after a long period in the doldrums, saw the strongest monthly increase in asking prices in September, with a 1.9 per cent rise, taking the average to £630,974. The East Midlands saw the next largest increase, with a 1.3 per cent rise, which took the average to £197,502.Prices dipped in Wales and, to a lesser extent, in Yorkshire and Humberside, and NW England. They were unchanged in SW and NE England and the West Midlands, but rose in SE England and East Anglia.Kevin Shaw, national sales director of estate agents Leaders, was quoted by Rightmove as saying his firm was gearing up for a busy autumn. "September has got off to a strong start; we have seen an increase in new instructions – as is typical this time of year – along with strong demand from buyers, many of whom are keen to complete their move before Christmas," he said. Duncan Young, managing director of Sanderson Young in Newcastle, added, “The year started well until May when the Brexit fears caused a significant reduction in enquiries between May and July. August and September activity has been double that of last year making amends for the wobble earlier.”