In Brief

Political uncertainty blamed as UK house prices fall

Average house price fell by £3,900 in November – a 1% decline

UK house prices and the number of properties coming on to the UK housing market have both fallen, according to new data.

The average price tag fell by £3,900 in November – the equivalent of a 1% decline – on the previous month, according to Rightmove. Across Britain, the average asking price is now £302,808.

The property website says the number of new listings fell by nearly 15% - the largest year-on-year slump in any month since August 2009.

The Guardian says that asking prices would “typically drift down in the run-up to Christmas” but the “big drop” in the number houses coming onto the market could be because people are waiting to see if the winner of the December election reforms stamp duty and reduces moving costs.

A stamp duty cut was discussed as a prospective move in chancellor Sajid Javid's first Budget, which was due to be delivered earlier this month but was pulled due to the general election.

The new report found that the number of sales being agreed has fallen by just 2.9% on 2018. “Our monthly poll of the housing market shows a clear swing towards hesitation for prospective sellers,” said Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove.

“In spite of this, buyers are continuing with their purchasing plans, with the number of sales agreed only marginally down on a year ago.

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, told the Daily Mail: “What is surprising is that sales agreed seem to have held up very well. We have noticed over the past month there has been more demand for family houses as many buyers take a longer term view of present uncertainties.”

Overall in London, prices were down 0.8% compared to last year. Estate agent Louis Harding of Strutt & Parker said: “The biggest challenge the London market faces is stock availability and consumer confidence has played a big part in contemplating whether to sell in the current climate.”

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