Asking prices up only 0.6%, Rightmove

Halifax: UK house prices stable before COVID-19

Asking prices for homes in the UK increased by just 0.6% in October, well below the average rise for the month, new data revealed on Monday.

Rightmove said that an Autumn bounce usually occurs during this time of the year, with an average rise of 1.6% in October.

However, asking prices rose by a “sluggish” 0.6% for October 2019, the lowest figure for this time of the year since October 2008.

Meanwhile, the number of properties coming to market was down by 13.5% compared to the same period a year prior.

Rightmove said that there are “strong indications” that many potential sellers are being discouraged by political uncertainty.

With the Brexit deadline fast approaching, Boris Johnson failed to get his Brexit deal past MPs on Saturday.

“In a strange Brexit-induced paradox, thousands of potential sellers are holding back compared to this time a year ago, though the number of buyers agreeing purchases is virtually the same,” Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, commented on the data.

“Ironically, this means that those who are coming to market have a better chance of selling, so while some would-be sellers are being put off, it’s actually a good time to sell. Those who are ignoring the Brexit disruption have less competition from stay-away sellers, and their prospective buyers have less negotiating power, with a reduced choice of suitable alternatives,” Miles Shipside continued.

Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, also commented: “No fireworks and no explosions across the current property landscape, and while the market is more subdued than usual, this is of course going to be the case ahead of our supposed EU exit at the end of the month. This uncertainty has evidently caused many sellers to hesitate and sit tight however, a healthy level of sales are still transacting, and this is proof that the UK property market is yet to disappear down the Brexit abyss.”

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, was optimistic that an Autumn bounce may occur.

“Although the UK is yet to experience an Autumn bounce it doesn’t mean one isn’t on its way. Today’s data shows that sales aren’t falling through as regularly as they have been, which suggests that the market is currently being driven by must-movers,” Nick Leeming said.

“Despite Rightmove’s figures showing that stock is currently lower across the nation, once the UK does leave the EU, whether that be on the 31st October or otherwise, I expect to see an increase in listings and greater activity levels, with the prospect of a modest uplift in property prices in the new year,” Nick Leeming added.

Just last week UK Investor Magazine took a look at various property market reactions to the news of the potential Brexit deal.