Property sales rise after Brexit uncertainty decline despite fall in value

19 August 2019, 07:38 | Updated: 19 August 2019, 08:41

Property sales have started to rise after Brexit uncertainty had left transaction levels at multi-year lows, according to a property portal.

Real estate website Rightmove said more homes were being sold despite a fall in the asking price by 1%, or £3,192, in August.

The firm noted that this trend was better than expected during the summer holiday period with sales rising by 6.1% compared to last year.

The price index showed the number of successful transactions is the strongest for this time of year since 2015, with the average price tag standing at £305,500.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, 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."

He continued: "While the end of October Brexit outcome remains uncertain, more buyers are now going for the certainty of doing a deal, with some having perhaps hesitated earlier in the year."

According to a report by HMRC, stamp-duty tax on additional properties as well as the Brexit uncertainty have dampened sales since 2016.

It comes after data from the Office for National Statistics and Land Registry showed house prices in London have now been flat or falling for a longer period than was seen during the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at the EY Item Club said: "We believe, with Brexit due to occur on October 31 - and it 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."

The official report also said across the UK house prices continued to rise by 0.9% annually in June.

Rightmove's data showed the North East of England, the East of England and Yorkshire and the Humber saw the most amount of activity with sales rising by more than 10% than a year earlier.