London Housing Market Shows Early Signs of Life, UBS Says

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UBS Group AG says there are tentative signs of life emerging in London’s Brexit-battered housing market, even if the overall picture remains pretty bleak.

The bank’s London Residential Monitor showed the proportion of home listings where the price had been reduced has fallen somewhat since its last report in January, to 36 percent from 39 percent. The average reduction where the price has been cut has also declined, supply has tightened since the turn of the year and discounts are narrowing in cheaper boroughs, the bank said.

But property owners should keep any excitement under control. “While signs point to a stabilization, the market remains weak overall,” the analysts said. “Stretched affordability, high levels of supply at prime price points, and numerous changes to stamp duty have taken their toll.”

That caution is borne out by data. U.K. lender Halifax reported last week that U.K. house prices fell in March and, as been the case for some time now, the biggest drag came in London. A report at the end of March from Nationwide Building Society showed home values in the capital dropped the most in the first quarter since the financial crisis.

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