LONDON (Reuters) - Buoyant property sales in England and Wales in November show that the housing market has steadied after Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and asking prices for homes look set to rise by 2 percent next year, property data firm Rightmove said.
Sales agreed were up by 5.2 percent last month compared with November 2015, Rightmove said.
“There was a bout of jitters with the unexpected referendum result, albeit now seemingly short-lived, but more may arrive after Article 50 is invoked,” Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will trigger the start of formal Brexit negotiations with the EU before the end of March, based on Article 50 of the bloc’s treaty.
“For the time being any nervousness is being over-ridden by high demand for the short supply of suitable homes for sale in the lower and middle market in many parts of the country,” Shipside said.
Sales were up in all regions except London in November. The capital’s central area was expected to remain weak with prices falling by a further 5 percent in 2017 while outer London was expected to match this year’s roughly 3 percent price rise.
A Reuters poll of economists, estate agents and brokers conducted last week showed house prices across the country were likely to climb 2.0 percent next year, half the pace expected before the Brexit vote.
Reporting by Adela Suliman; Editing by William Schomberg