September 15, 2019 / 11:14 PM / 2 months ago

Brexit jitters cause rare September fall in UK house prices - Rightmove

FILE PHOTO: A row of houses are seen in London, Britain June 3, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

LONDON (Reuters) - Asking prices for houses in Britain have suffered their first September fall in nine years as worries about Brexit caused buyers to hesitate and sellers to keep properties off the market, property website Rightmove said on Monday.

The average price of property being put up for sale fell by 0.2%, or 730 pounds, from August, breaking the pattern of consistent monthly price rises for the month of September since 2010, Rightmove said. 

Rightmove director Miles Shipside pointed to uncertainty about Brexit with Britain due to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying he is prepared for a no-deal Brexit if needed.

“Many have got used to living in the jaws of uncertainty since the referendum over three years ago, and have been getting on with their lives and housing moves,” Shipside said.

“However, as we approach yet another Brexit deadline, there are signs that the increasing gnashing of teeth is causing some to hesitate.”

Shipside said the usual autumn pickup in activity in the housing market could be missed altogether this year if the political uncertainty continued.

Prices at the national level were dragged down by falls in London and the neighbouring south-eastern England area while prices in the north of England rose.

The number of properties put on the market fell by 7.8% compared with a year earlier, including a drop of 20% in London.

Reporting by Kwame Amah Mensah; Writing by William Schomberg

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