No signs yet of Brexit creating a UK housing recession says new analysis

Since the European Union Referendum the number of residential properties advertised for sale in the UK has increased and average asking prices have reduced by 0.2%, new research shows. While the number of properties with a reduced asking price has increased from 29.3% to 34.5%, mortgage availability remains broadly unchanged, according to the analysis report from global investment banking firm. The early conclusion from the industry note from the firm’s UK Building and Residential Services team of analysts is that UK households have the confidence to try and move house and accept that prices may need to soften to make it happen since the decision to leave the EU while there is no sign of a property recession. The research says that listings volumes, for example, do not suggest a slowdown and an analysis of residential property listings on major UK property portals and have found that since the EU referendum the number of listings has increased by 3.6%. It also points out that in the two previous UK recessions housing transactions were, with hindsight, a lead indicator, falling for more than 18 months ahead of the recession. In the absence of current transaction data we view listings activity as an early look towards housing transactions. With listings increasing, it appears UK households are prepared and ready to move. Before the vote there were headlines suggesting that Brexit would result in a steep fall in house prices but according to the analysis the trend in asking prices is only just downwards. On average asking prices have reduced by 0.2% since the EU referendum, somewhat less than the movement in the prices of the shares of the companies which service the UK housing market. ‘Perhaps more interesting is the movement in the number of properties which have reduced their asking prices. Before the EU referendum 29.3% of listings had reduced their initial asking price, this figure has now increased to 34.5%, overall a move of 520bp or 18%. This suggests to us that UK households remain keen to move and are adjusting their price expectations,’ the report explains. In the two previous recessions London house prices were the first to fall and the first to rise but the research show that so far 76% of London postcodes have seen an increase of listings, 22% a reduction and 1% unchanged. With respect to asking prices 70% of London postcodes have seen a reduction in asking prices and 30% an increase. A breakdown of the figures show that in East London 35% of postcodes have seen asking prices rise and 65% fall, in the North of the city 30% have risen and 70% fallen, in South London the split is 27% up and 73% down and in West London 25% up and 75% down. ‘London has the largest rental market in the UK and we believe that asking rents provide the most cutting edge data point with respect to the health of the underlying… Continue reading

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