London Leads Fall in Home Sales as Buyers Hold Breath for Brexit
(Bloomberg) -- Follow the latest global economic news and analysis @economics.
Asking prices for London homes fell this month as buyers hesitated on closing deals amid political turmoil over Brexit.
Average values declined in March, slumping 1.1 percent from February to 607,557 pounds ($806,000), property-website Rightmove said in a report Monday. Asking prices in the capital dropped 3.8 percent from a year earlier with the number of sales agreed by real-estate agents 9.6 percent below the same period in 2018.
London’s property market has borne the brunt of uncertainty over the U.K.’s future relationship with Europe. After years of outsized gains, values fell last year for the first time since the financial crisis, according to official data.
Gains on a national level were also subdued as sales figures indicated a slow start to the usually busier spring period. Asking prices rose 0.4 percent to 302,002 pounds on the month, but posted an annual decline of 0.8 percent.
“Buying activity remains cooler than usual, with hesitation as some buyers await a more settled political climate,” said Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove. “There’s greater resilience the further away you get from the London market.”
A separate report by Acadata, which incorporates all housing transactions, showed U.K. home prices slid 0.5 percent in the 12 months to February. Excluding London and the south east, values were unchanged from a year earlier.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.