Tuesday 23 July 2019 10:21 am

UK house sales plummet in June, held back by Brexit ‘ball and chain’

House sales crashed 16.5 per cent in June, as the property market took a “wait-and-see” attitude to transactions amid Brexit uncertainty.

Monthly HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures showed British residential property sales fell to 84,490, more than one-sixth down on the same period last year.

Read more: London house prices suffer worst plunge in 10 years

The figure represents a 9.6 per cent monthly drop between May and June this year.


Analysts were quick to point out the figures are reported with several months’ lag, meaning the transactions relayed are those accepted in March.

Benham and Reeves director Marc von Grundherr said: “With many of us, perhaps foolishly, believing we would be exiting the EU at the end of March, it stands to reason that the vast majority of buyers may have refrained from a sale until this event had passed.

“Therefore any dip in transactions should be viewed as a momentary stutter and with many other market indicators suggesting a return to form and growing levels of buyer demand over the last few months, we should start to see the number of properties being sold climb from here on in.” 

Non-residential transactions were also down 7.2 per cent month-on-month.

‘A fragile market landscape’

Springbok Properties founder Shepherd Ncube added: “A lull in transactions will come as a cause for concern in what is currently a rather fragile market landscape, however, the broader picture simply doesn’t suggest a market that is on its knees.

“Homebuyer appetite is alive and well and while many may not want to fill up on bread until the main course of Brexit is finally served, we are on course to see a healthy level of properties transact this year regardless.  

Read more: UK house prices slip for first time this year as Rightmove hails buyers’ market


Joseph Daniels, founder of modular developer Project Etopia, added: “Sales volumes have walked off a cliff, crashing hard as the Brexit deadlock becomes the ball and chain fixing the housing market to the spot. 

“What you’re seeing is a wait-and-see attitude among sellers and many buyers becoming endemic.”

Main image: Getty

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