House prices dip in June amid ‘lack of clarity’ on Brexit
House prices fell by 0.3% month on month in June, as potential buyers and sellers wait for more clarity around Brexit, according to an index.
The dip follows a 0.4% house price increase in May, figures from Halifax show.
Across the UK, the average house price stood at £237,110 in June – 5.7% higher than a year earlier.
Halifax said the level of annual growth was set against the backdrop of a particularly low growth rate in the corresponding period in 2018, which has had an impact on year-on-year comparisons.
Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “Average house prices dipped marginally in June, falling by 0.3%, to stand at £237,110. This extends the largely flat trend we’ve seen over recent months.
“More generally the housing market is displaying a reasonable degree of resilience in the face of political and economic uncertainty.
“Recent industry figures show demand looking slightly more stable, with mortgage approvals ticking along just above the long-term average.”
Mr Galley said a low level of homes for sale continues to be one of the “major restraining factors” on the volume of transactions.
He said: “With the ongoing lack of clarity around Brexit, people will be looking for more certainty in the coming months, both to encourage them to list their property and to create the confidence needed to encourage buyers.”
Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY Item Club said: “There are signs that housing market activity may have got a little help from the avoidance of a disruptive Brexit at the end of March, but the overall benefit looks to have been limited.
“Improved consumer purchasing power and robust employment growth has also recently been helpful for the housing market but this has recently shown some signs of levelling off.
“Consequently, we suspect house prices will rise only around 1.5% over 2019 on most measures.”
Mr Archer continued: “Should the UK leave the EU with a deal at the end of October, we believe reduced uncertainty and modestly improved economic activity could see house prices rise by around 2% over 2020.
“If the UK ultimately leaves the EU without a deal – be it on October 31 or some other time – we believe house prices could quickly drop around 5% amid heightened uncertainty and weakened economic activity.”
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The ongoing uncertainty with regard to Brexit continues, resulting in many people putting decisions on hold and a lack of property coming to market.”
Mark Manning, managing director of Leeds-based estate agent Manning Stainton, said: “The property market is holding strong across the North, and in Leeds prices are still very much on the up, helped by the sheer weight of buyer demand.”
Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: “The latest Halifax house price numbers, showing a monthly dip in values, are not going to encourage buyers to make a commitment while prices continue to soften.”
But he continued: “We are finding that some buyers, including some investors, are looking beyond Brexit and political uncertainty and are prepared to go ahead if they can perceive value.”
Gareth Lewis, commercial director of property lender MT Finance, said: “In the buy-to-let space we are finding that investors are looking for bargains and will only buy at the right price.”