In Brief

Falling house prices linked to Brexit deadline

Buyers rushing to complete deals before 31 October, say analysts

The number of property sales taking place in the UK has started to rise, as the average asking price drops.

The 6.1% rise in makes this the strongest summer for house sales since 2015, after “Brexit uncertainty had left transaction levels at multi-year lows”, says Sky News. Average asking prices dropped by 1%, or £3,192, to £305,500.

The North East of England, the East of England and Yorkshire and the Humber enjoyed the most activity, with sales there rising by more than 10% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Real estate portal Rightmove based its report on more than 130,000 prices collected between 7 July and 10 August from its website, which it says covers 90% of residential property on sale in Britain.   

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “For some reason more buyers have cottoned on to the fact that it can be a good time of year to buy, with less competition from other buyers, and sellers typically more willing to accept a lower price.”

However, The Guardian says that it may simply be haste powering the “surprise August buying spree,” with buyers and sellers keen to complete ahead of the 31 October Brexit deadline.

Looking ahead, Howard Archer, of the EY Item Club, said: “We believe, with Brexit due to occur on October 31 - and it is currently very unclear what will happen then - uncertainty will weigh down on the economy over the next few months at least and hamper the housing market.”

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