Monday 19 August 2019 1:02 am

Sales tick up as pre-Brexit buying spree gives summer boost to housing market

Househunters hoping to lock in a deal ahead of the government’s Brexit deadline have driven a surprise buying spree this summer, giving life to the property market’s quietest season of the year.

Agreed house sales in August rose 6.1 per cent from the same month in 2018, rising to the highest level at this time of the year since 2015.

Read more: Hong Kong protests continue as property developers urge calm

Improved affordability and the opportunity of securing a deal ahead of Britain’s departure from the EU led to the higher-than-usual summer appetite, according to the report released today by Rightmove.

The price of property coming to the market edged down one per cent month-on-month to £305,500, but in London values fell 0.1 per cent to £617,941, marking the smallest monthly decrease at this time of year since 2006 in a sign of an improving market.

All regions across the UK reported a year-on-year rise in sales, with activity particularly busy in Yorkshire & the Humber, the north east and the east of England.

“For some reason more buyers have cottoned on to the fact that it can be a good time of year to buy, with less competition from other buyers, and sellers typically more willing to accept a lower price,” said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst.”

Read more: Property investment plummets in first half as Brext uncertainty bites

He added: “Whilst another approaching Brexit deadline is now nothing new for prospective buyers, this one may seem more definite, and therefore one to beat, with the government regarding this one as ‘do or die’.”