Rightmove’s latest house price index, covering two weeks either side of the EU referendum at the end of June, suggests average asking prices have dipped by 0.9 per cent.
But the portal stresses that this fall – equivalent to £2,647 on a typical asking price – is seasonal, not Brexit-inspired. Since 2010 the month of July has recorded average price falls of 0.4 per cent so this dip is bigger, although not worringly so.
“Political turbulence has a track record of unsettling sentiment. Indeed last year saw a seasonally unusual 0.1 per cent fall in the run up to the May election, and a June and July price surge as a result of the post-election boost” says Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst.
In the two weeks immediately after the EU referendum, compared to the same fortnight in 2015, enquiries to agents from buyers were down by 16 per cent. However, last year’s figures were boosted by pent-up demand after the surprise general election result, which saw a 25 per cent uplift in buyer enquiries in June and July compared to the same two month period in 2014.
Buyer enquiry levels in the two weeks after the Brexit vote are now consistent with the same period in 2014, which is a more comparable benchmark.
“Agents in areas where stock shortages were driving momentum before the referendum say activity has recovered quickly, with buyers’ fear of losing a scarce property a key factor. They say that very few deals have fallen through as a direct result of post-Brexit jitters. Those areas of the country whose housing markets were struggling or readjusting earlier in the year, such as parts of London, will continue on what is often a fairly lengthy path of price reductions to encourage buyers to return in numbers” says Shipside.
Encouragingly, instruction numbers are up – ahead even of this time last year.
“The two weeks before the Brexit vote saw the number of properties coming to market down by eight per cent, though the two weeks afterwards have now seen the levels up by six per cent” he says.