Government figures from the Office for National Statistics show that house prices across the UK rose by a mere 0.7 per cent in the year to the end of November - the lowest growth since September 2012.
It represented a sharp slowdown on the 1.3 per cent figure reported in the year to the end of September and according to analysts the slump signifies the slowdown in activity ahead of the abortive October deadline for leaving the EU, missed by Boris Johnson.
The ONS says prices in London are now 1.6 per cent down on October 2018 while the north east of England - newly praised by the government for returning many Conservative MPs - has seen property prices fall 1.1 per cent over the past year.
But estate agents feel these figures reflect the pre-election political and economic uncertainties - and they do not show a new mood of optimism expressed since the decisive General Election result.
Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, says: “Looking forward, we expect a general increase in prices underpinned by relatively low supply as confidence slowly returns to the market. Although these figures reflect what was happening in the recent past rather than now, they do show a market very much in subdued mode without much change one way or the other. This is a good sign considering the political turmoil so prevalent at that time.”
Mike Scott, chief property analyst at online agency Yopa, adds: “We do not expect any further significant decline in London, and it may well end 2020 with prices pretty much the same as they are now, while more northern and western regions continue to perform better.”
And Lucy Pendleton, founder director of estate agency James Pendleton, comment: “New inquiries for property picked up the day of the election result and foreign buyers are matching their domestic counterparts for renewed enthusiasm.”