The housing market has not fallen over in the wake of the Brexit vote, contrary to come predictions, “but there are some signs of a slowdown” with prices dipping in London and the south east according to the UK economist at Standard Life Investments.
James McCann, in a briefing to investors, says mortgage approvals have slipped and reached an 18-month low, although he believes this in part reflects some hangover from the additional homes stamp duty surcharge which came into effect in April.
However, he adds that “anecdotal evidence suggests that activity has weakened most in London and the south east of the UK, with other regions proving more resilient thus far.”
He says Bank of England measures announced in late summer - including a drop in bse rate to 0.25 per cent - “should help cushion, but not eradicate, this slowdown in housing market activity.”
Meanwhile Knight Frank reports that sale prices in prime central London fell 2.1 per cent in the year to September with some spectacularly larger drops - down 8.9 per cent in Chelsea, for example.
Homes so far this year have been on the market 14 per cent longer than in the same period of 2015; volumes are down by just under a fifth.
“Stamp duty remains a decidedly bigger influence on the market than the EU referendum and in some instances the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has been a catalyst for overdue price reductions” says Tom Bill, head of London research for the high end agency.