UK house prices have witnessed their first September fall since 2010, according to a closely-watched gauge, as Brexit uncertainty continues to dampen sales.
The average price of property coming to market fell by 0.2 per cent in September, the house price index from real estate website Rightmove showed.
“As we approach yet another Brexit deadline, there are signs that the increasing gnashing of teeth is causing some to hesitate,” said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market.
“The autumn bounce normally kicks off at the same time as kids go back to school, but this year it’s a late starter at best.”
UK house prices have been subdued in 2019 as political uncertainty has put people off making big-ticket purchases and a global slowdown has provided a tough economic backdrop.
London house prices have been hit particularly hard. They fell 3.1 per cent in May – the biggest drop since the financial crisis – and 2.7 per cent in June, according to the latest official figures.
Rightmove said the September figures were buoyed by the north and dragged down by parts of the south: London has properties now coming to the market at an average of 2.1 per cent cheaper than a year ago.
Yet the Rightmove figures showed that the number of sales agreed fell in September in all regions compared to the same period a year ago, indicating widespread rather than regional hesitation.
Shipside said this has provided an opportunity for some. “Those who are planning to buy or trade up and can keep their nerve whilst others hesitate may find that they are in a stronger negotiating position to get a favourable deal,” he said.