Brexit and the housing market: prices drop and fewer homes are put up for sale

Brexit to blame as prices fall in many parts of the country, and the supply of new properties listed for sale dwindles

Brexit and the housing market
(Image credit: Getty)

If you're considering buying a house at the moment, you might want to know what the current, realtime impact of Brexit on the UK housing market is, and whether local house prices are the main thing you should be worried about. 

Well, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index, there's more to the effects of the current political situation than the downward trend in house prices that we've been seeing. More on that in a minute.

First things first: it is true that Brexit is continuing to drag house prices down, especially in London and the South East, and in particular where it comes to bigger and top-tier properties. 

On average, London properties are 2.1 per cent cheaper this September than they were the same time last year. By contrast, asking prices in the first-time buyer sector have actually increased by 0.6 per cent compared to August. 

However, the far starker effects can be seen in the supply figures – in other words, how many properties are up for sale. Many people are holding off putting their homes on the market, with the number of newly listed properties down by a huge 7.8 per cent this September compared to a year ago. 

This scarce supply is having a knock-on effect on would-be movers, many of whom are now unable to find suitable properties to move on to. The situation is much more severe in London, where the number of newly listed properties has fallen by a massive 20 per cent. 

'All regions are down on their numbers for both sales agreed and properties coming to market,' comments Rightmove director Miles Shipside. 'Some regions are just marginally behind the previous year, but they are all seeing less activity in these two key metrics, showing that hesitation is now more widespread rather than being localised to just some parts. 

'However, some of that will be due to difficulty in finding the right property to buy, as activity still remains brisk in some locations, evidenced by continuing upwards pricing pressure in some parts of Great Britain. Uncertainty is clearly not just about the political situation, with finding the right property to buy being a bigger worry for many.'

The takeaway from these stats is that if you've found a property you like and are in a position to buy, now is not the time to hesitate. You can read more about why Brexit shouldn't stop you moving house in the news piece we published earlier this week. Our advice? Use the autumn lull to your advantage and negotiate a good price, if you can find a property you like.