The fall in house prices came as the turmoil from Brexit kept on continuing. This meant that typical house prices fell in some cases to almost $643,470.
Meanwhile, data from property website Rightmove revealed the average asking price of a London home had fallen below $772,220 for the first time since August 2015, and was well below its peak of almost $836,570 reached a few weeks before the Brexit vote in 2016.
Both the sets of figures came in days after Britain’s surveyors issued a gloomy assessment which was fuelled by the lack of clarity over Britain’s departure from the EU. On Thursday, the Royal Instititution of Chartered Surveryors (Rics) stated that house prices were falling at their fastest rate in six years, and outlook for sales remained the weakest in two decades.
Your Move, which claims to be the UK’s biggest estate agent, stated that house prices in England and Wales rose 0.3% in December, but were falling in real terms when adjusted for inflation. London remained the most obviously affected by the uncertainty, given the influence of wealthy foreign buyers. Your Move stated that there had been big falls in a few key boroughs at the top of the market.
The average house price in Kensington and Chelsea, the UK’s most expensive place to buy a home, dropped by more than a fifth (21.2%), during the last 12 months, from $2.90mn to $2.28mn. In Westminster, the second most expensive area, typical prices fell by a quarter (24.8%) from
In Westminster, the second most expensive area, typical prices fell by a quarter (24.8%), from $2.48mn to $1.87mn.
Recent high-end sales in Westminister included a Belgrave Square mansion, which was bought for $77mn. The five-storey stucco-fronted property had been on the market for almost a decade, and was initially listed at $128.
Other London boroughs said to have experienced double-digit price falls over the past year include Hammersmith and Fulham, where the average property value dropped 19%, from $1.1 mn to $1.39mn, Camden (down 11.5%) and Tower Hamlets (down 11.3%).
Earlier this month, one property firm stated that sterling’s slump since the Brexit vote had turned the UK into a goldmine for foreign investors who sought a bargain.
However, prices in 10 London boroughs went up over the year.
According to Your Move, the annual rate of price growth for England and Wales is 0.6%, the lowest level since spring 2012.
Oliver Blake, the firm’s managing director, stated that amid the political and economic uncertainty, “it is understandable why buyers and sellers may be taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to the property market”. However, he did add that this meant homes may become more affordable to more people.
Rightmove stated that the UK market had undergone a muted and patchy start to 2019, with the lowest monthly price rise seen at this time of year since January 2012. The data showed the average asking price of a UK home rising by 0.4%, or $1,553 in monetary terms, during the past month.
Three out of 11 regions had price falls over the past month. These included London, where the average new seller asking price dipped 1.5%.
In Wales, the monthly fall was 1.9%, while the East Midlands recorded a 0.3% decline.
The Rightmove website, which claims to feature about 90% of all properties for sale, said there had been a “patchy but active start to the year, with more northerly regions faring better in terms of pricing power and willingness to move than those farther south”.
It added that in London, a larger than usual seasonal fall had reduced average new seller asking prices to below $772,140 for the first time since August 2015.
It also said the capital had seen a slow start to 2019, with price falls, the uncertain political backdrop and the costs of moving apparently deterring some owners from coming to market.