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Brexit delay to cause dip in property sales next year

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Extended Brexit negotiations may cause the number of property sales to fall by as much as 20 per cent in 2019, estate agency haart has warned.

Buyer registrations are up by 37 per cent but Brexit uncertainty is holding back transaction levels.

House prices across England and Wales in October fell by 1.4% month-on-month and by 0.8% on the year, with the average house price standing at £220,353.

The number of properties coming onto the market rose by 1.1% and by 16.9% on the year. In October, there were over 10 buyers chasing every property across England and Wales.

But the market was less efficient, with the number of transactions falling by 3.3%, and the number of viewings dropping by 2.8%.

First-time buyers

The average purchase price for first-time buyers has fallen by 2.7% on the month and by 9.8% on the year. This comes as the number of first-time buyers registering onto the market has dropped by 3.2% on the month, but rose by 14.9% on the year.

Paul Smith, CEO of haart, said that despite negative Brexit rhetoric from Westminster and the industry, the property market remained resilient in October.

He said: “I believe that even if we encountered a hard Brexit, we would be very unlikely to see the significant price falls encountered during the credit crunch. Greater regulation in the banking and mortgage market, a shortage of supply and government support which underpins the first time buyer market means that a far more likely outcome would be a reduction in transaction volumes.

“The next couple of weeks will prove interesting. Below are my predictions of what could happen to the UK’s housing market following various Brexit scenarios – in my opinion the greatest threat is a delay to Brexit because of political posturing. We could expect a super-charged property market in 2019 if a positive Brexit deal is agreed.

“A no deal Brexit would likely result in a short term blow for the property market, at what would normally be a peak time of the year for activity. The most likely impact would be a slower market, with fewer transactions taking place as both buyers and sellers hit the brakes on their plans.

“Whilst a no deal scenario would potentially be quite damaging, an extended period of Brexit negotiations beyond the set date of March 2019 could prove just as detrimental.”

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