LONDON (Reuters) - Asking prices for properties being put up for sale in Britain have suffered their biggest fall over a two-month period since 2012, property website Rightmove said, the latest sign of a slowdown in the housing market ahead of Brexit.
Average asking prices for new sellers were down by a monthly 1.5 percent in the four weeks to Dec. 8 after a fall of 1.7 percent in the previous month, Rightmove said on Monday.
On an annual basis, asking prices across the country rose by 0.7 percent but fell in London by 1.1 percent.
Before the Brexit referendum in June 2016, asking prices as measured by Rightmove were rising by around 7 percent a year.
Rightmove director Miles Shipside said sellers typically priced properties lower before Christmas to get buyers’ attention.
“However, these falls have been larger than usual, making this the largest fall over two months for six years, showing that there are more than just seasonal forces at play,” he said.
The weakness in Britain’s housing market has appeared in other measures of house prices, something surveyors say reflects the uncertainty about the country’s exit from the European Union in March.
Rightmove said a relatively small fall in the number of sales suggested the lower prices were tempting some buyers into the market at a time of year which usually sees few transactions.
Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken