Looming Brexit deadline sparks UK buying spree
The summer market is proving to be a bustling hotbed for buyers undeterred by the looming Brexit deadline, new Rightmove data has shown.
The number of sales being agreed is up by 6.1% compared with the same month a year ago, helping to make up for the slower start to the year, with buyers spurred into action by improved affordability and better opportunities for securing a deal.
Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “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.
“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’.
“While the end of October Brexit outcome remains uncertain, more buyers are now going for the certainty of doing a deal, with some having perhaps hesitated earlier in the year.”
One of the challenges that buyers face after having agreed a purchase is the delay in turning that agreement to move into the binding reality of legal completion and actually moving in. The number of properties that are sold subject to contract and stuck in the legal process log-jam is at its highest level since June 2014.
All regions have seen a year-on-year increase in sales agreed, but it’s the North East, East of England, and Yorkshire & the Humber leading the country with each recording rises of more than 10%.
Shipside added: “More prospective movers are taking the plunge, getting stuck into deals with sellers more willing to lower their price expectations, and lenders wanting to lend and offering low rates.
“There’s only so long that buyers and sellers can delay the familial, financial and emotional forces driving the need to move, and with the average time between agreeing a sale and moving in being more than three months, we’re now entering the last chance saloon for those who want to have finished their move before the end of the year.”
It’s thought that the approaching Brexit deadline may result in the usual autumn activity bounce being brought forward to incorporate a late summer surge.
This increased activity has led to new seller asking prices falling by only 1.0% in the month, compared with the 2.3% fall of the same time last year, which has driven the annual rate of increase to 1.2 %, the highest since September 2018.
To read August’s House Price Index in full, click here.