Buyers who’re looking to move as the nation edges closer to another Brexit deadline will have better negotiating opportunities, new data has shown.
September is usually the start of an autumn bounce in the housing market, yet this is the first price fall seen at this time of year since September 2010, with rises in each of the last eight years.
The number of sales being agreed across the country is also down compared to a year ago, with a 5.5% drop a stark contrast from the +6.1% sales agreed flurry we reported a month ago. This is only a monthly snapshot, however, and a look at the year-to-date figure shows that the average sales agreed numbers are only down by 3.4% on a year ago.
Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “Many have got used to living in the jaws of uncertainty since the referendum over three years ago and have been getting on with their lives and housing moves.
“However, as we approach yet another Brexit deadline, there are signs that the increasing gnashing of teeth is causing some to hesitate. The autumn bounce normally kicks off at the same time as kids go back to school, but this year it’s a late starter at best, and if uncertainty persists then the autumn term could be missed altogether, and its activities be delayed until the new year.
“Those who are planning to buy or trade up and can keep their nerve whilst others hesitate may find that they are in a stronger negotiating position to get a favourable deal.”
Figures also show that fewer property owners seem to have the need or desire to put their property on the market, again likely to be influenced by the backdrop of increased uncertainty as well as lack of suitable choice of properties for them to buy.
While the average annual rate of price increases drops to just 0.2%, this is buoyed by the north and dragged down by parts of the south. London has properties now coming to the market at an average of 2.1% cheaper than a year ago, with the South East region also in negative territory at -1.1%.
All other regions have new seller asking prices up compared to a year ago, with the North West being the most buoyant at +3.5%.
Shipside added: “Buying activity is still at nearly 95% of what it was a year ago, but sellers in all regions are seeing fewer sales go through, so should be more willing to negotiate with prospective buyers if they want or need to get a deal done.
“Uncertainty is clearly not just about the political situation, with finding the right property to buy being a bigger worry for many.”