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Brexit weighing on UK housing market outlook – RICS

The outlook for the UK housing market darkened in August as uncertainty about Brexit takes its toll, according to the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The net balance of surveyors reporting that house prices have risen over the last three months increased to -4 in August from -9 in July, coming in ahead of expectations for a reading of -10.

However, Brexit-related uncertainty dented the outlook, with the near-term sales expectations net balance falling to -23 from -4, while the near-term prices expectations net balance declined to -24 from -13.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “It is hard to get away from the shadow being cast over the housing market by the seemingly never-ending Brexit saga. Indeed uncertainty is a theme that respondents continue to highlight as a negative influence on sentiment in survey after survey.”

Capital Economic economist Hansen Lu said: “In all, today’s data support our view that there will be no recovery in transactions or house price growth before the end of the year. We expect that to happen whatever the Brexit outcome, although a no-deal exit could lead to a sharp fall in housing transactions.”

By Michele Maatouk

Source: Sharecast

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UK house price growth ground to a halt in August

House price growth ground to a halt in August across the UK amid signs of a “slowdown” in activity in the property market, according to the latest figures from Nationwide.

Average prices were unchanged between July and August when analysts factored out seasonal variation in the latest house price index from the building society.

The average home in Britain sold for just over £216,000 ($263,000) in August, no higher than a month earlier but up 0.6% on a year earlier.

It marks the ninth month in a row of muted price growth below 1% or even declines on an annual basis.

Marc von Grundherr, director of London estate agent Benham & Reeves, said prices were “climbing at a snail’s pace.”

“While the UK property market may have ground to a halt on a month on month basis, it is an admirable show of defiance to at least register some annual growth, given the seasonalities at play and the addition of political turbulence that continues to plague home seller sentiment,” said von Grundherr.

He said price growth could continue to stall over the next few months as prime minister Boris Johnson takes Britain closer to a no-deal Brexit, but predicted a “consistent and strong uplift” later this year or next.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Surveyors report that new buyer enquiries have increased a little, though key consumer confidence indicators remain subdued.

“Data on the number of property transactions points to a slowdown in activity, though the number of mortgages approved for house purchase has remained broadly stable.

“Housing market trends will remain heavily dependent on developments in the broader economy. In the near term, healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs will provide underlying support, though uncertainty is likely to continue to exert a drag on sentiment and activity.”

By Tom Belger

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

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UK house prices remain stagnant as no-deal Brexit looms

UK house prices grew at less than one per cent for the ninth month in a row in August, Nationwide figures revealed today, prompting calls for Boris Johnson to slash stamp duty.

The value of homes did not grow between July and August, Nationwide’s House Price Index found.

But they did grow 0.6 per cent on an annual basis and 0.3 per cent over the last three months.

However, UK house prices slipped to an average price of £216,096 in August, down from July’s £217,663.

Nationwide warned that Brexit uncertainty is weighing the market down despite healthy economic signals.

“While house price growth has remained fairly stable, there have been mixed signals from the property market in recent months,” Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said.

No-deal Brexit threat weighs down UK house prices
While mortgage approvals have been stable and new buyer enquiries have improved, UK consumer confidence slumped in August as a no-deal Brexit looms.

The threat of Brexit uncertainty will continue to cloud the UK housing market, Gardner added.

“Housing market trends will remain heavily dependent on developments in the broader economy,” he said.

“In the near term, healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs will provide underlying support, though uncertainty is likely to continue to exert a drag on sentiment and activity.”

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, added: “With the economy struggling and the outlook currently highly uncertain, we suspect that house prices will remain soft despite the recent pick-up in housing market activity – which could well prove temporary.”

Could Boris Johnson cut stamp duty?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is yet to announce his domestic agenda since he took power in July, but he is reportedly considering slashing stamp duty to boost UK house prices.

This couldn’t come soon enough, according to experts, who believe it would help lift housing stock supply and boost house price value as Johnson takes the UK closer to a no-deal Brexit.

Guy Harrington, chief executive of property lender Glenhawk, said: “The need for more stock is as urgent as ever and the government would be foolish not to address stamp duty relief as a priority.”

Archer added: “Housing market activity – and possibly to a lesser extent prices – could be given a lift in 2020 if the government cuts stamp duty significantly in the Budget later this year.”

Kevin Roberts, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, added: “The critical issue is that there are simply not enough homes to meet the demand from consumers, whether people buying their first property or those who want to downsize.”

By Joe Curtis

Source: City AM

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New Housing Secretary reveals plans for shared ownership changes

The Government has announced it will shake up the shared ownership housing model, allowing buyers to increase their stakes by just 1% at a time under new proposals.

In his first major policy announcement as Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick revealed plans which would allow people to increase their share of their homes in smaller increments.

Critics dubbed the move the “wrong priority” and urged ministers to instead “get building”.

Under the current model, buyers can only increase their share of a property in 10% chunks.

It is expected that the changes will come into effect early next year.

In addition to the shared ownership shake-up, the minister said he will look to reform the planning system with the aim of increasing housing delivery.

Homeowners using the Help to Buy incentive could also be given new freedoms which would make it easier to take out a 35-year mortgage.

It was announced on Wednesday that the Government has closed a loophole with immediate effect that had prevented people from taking out a mortgage with a term of more than 25 years.

Mr Jenrick said the proposals were particularly focused on getting lower-income buyers on the property ladder.

“Building the houses this country needs is a central priority of this Government,” he said.

“We know that most people still want to own their own home, but for many the dream seems a remote one.

“My mission is to increase the number of homes that are being delivered and to get more young people and families on to the housing ladder, particularly those on lower incomes.”

He added that reforms need to go “much further” to make the housing market work.

“I will be looking at ensuring young people from Cornwall to Cumbria aren’t priced out of their home areas and how we can build public support for more house building and better planning.

“This Government will help a new generation to own their home.”

His statement echoed one of the stated priorities of Boris Johnson, who said he wanted to give “millions of young people the chance to own their own home” in his first speech as Prime Minister.

Specialist housing charity Shelter, however, called the set of announcements from the new Secretary of State “worrying”.

Polly Neate, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “Pinning his hopes on yet another complicated housing scheme is a worrying start for the new Housing Secretary of State.

“The Government must realise that unworkable schemes, laden down with admin costs, are the wrong priority at any time – and are woefully inadequate when this country is facing the current housing emergency.

“If the new Government is serious about getting to grips with our housing crisis then it must follow through on its commitment to get building. That’s why we’re calling for three million more social homes over the next 20 years, to give more families the sort of step up they actually need in life.”

Source: Express and Star

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Property sales fell considerably in July, official figures show

Residential property sales have fallen considerably in the UK, with official data showing a fall of 8.5% month on month between June and July and a year on year decline of 12.4%.

The data from HMRC shows that overall there were 86,630 residential sales and 9,760 non-residential sales in July 2019. Non-residential sales also fell, down by 2.8% on a monthly basis and 5.8% lower than July 2018.

The figures suggest that there are a number of barriers preventing people from buying and Kevin Roberts, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, believes that it is not just Brexit.

‘While Government schemes have helped thousands of first time buyers onto the property ladder, we need to think about those further up the ladder too. To stimulate the market, the Government needs to build more housing across all types of tenure. This will provide second steppers and last time buyers with more choice and in turn, families can up or downsize accordingly,’ he said.

But it could be the usual summer slump exaggerated by Brexit uncertainty, according to Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves. He also thinks sellers are reluctant to accept lower prices.

‘Although mortgage affordability remains fairly good, the huge stamp duty costs facing many buyers will do little to stimulate demand at the other end and continue to act as a financial anchor for those looking to climb the ladder,’ he explained.

But Joseph Daniels, founder of modular developer Project Etopia, does put the blame on Brexit. ‘Brexit has cemented caution into the attitudes of buyers and sellers and the sales slump is all but nailed on now until the political uncertainty settles down,’ he said.

Neil Knight, business development director of Spicerhaart Part Exchange and Assisted Move, believes it is more complicated than that. He pointed out that the figures follow the recent construction output figures which showed that overall construction output dropped by 1.3%, and the UK Finance mortgage trends report which showed levels of remortgaging, home mover mortgages and first time buyers all fell in June.

‘It feels like a fairly gloomy picture for the housing market. However, when you take into account that the drop in construction output was mainly driven by a 6% decline in private housing repair and not new housing and that while nationally, mortgage transitions are down, actually, when you look at a regional picture, it is only London where the market is struggling, it paints quite a different picture,’ he said.

He also pointed that the latest figures from the National House Building Council show that builders and developers registered the highest number of new homes for 12 years during the last three months.

‘These figures tie in much more with what we are seeing. While overall, the housing market may be subdued, the new homes market is much more buoyant. At Spicerhaart Part Exchange and Assisted Move, we are busier than ever, working with developers across the UK to offering part-exchange and assisted move services. We are being led to believe that the house building industry as almost ground to a halt, but that is simply not true,’ he added.

‘The demand is there and the activity is too and it is great to see such confidence in new-build housing despite uncertain economic and political times. Let’s hope it filters through to the rest of the market,’ he concluded.

Source: Property Wire

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Scottish housing market hits 11-year high despite Brexit fears

SCOTLAND’S property market has soared to an 11-year high despite ongoing fears surrounding Brexit, new research indicates.

Property transactions worth more than £8 billion were recorded between January and June this year, the best for a six-month period since 2008, according to Aberdein Considine’s quarterly property monitor.

High sales in the second quarter, from April to June, have been credited with driving the trend.

A total of 25,806 sales concluded in these three months, up by almost1000 (4%) on the same period last year. The additional activity pushed the average price of a Scottish home up by 1.6% to £172,189, despite the market stalling elsewhere in the UK.

Jacqueline Law, managing partner at Aberdein Considine, said buyers have retained a “degree of confidence” amid political uncertainty.

“Buying a house is not something people do with tomorrow or next year in mind,” she said.

“It’s a considered decision which most purchasers take with a medium to long-term view – and these figures suggest people are looking beyond the current political and economic headwinds with a degree of confidence.”

Edinburgh remains the most expensive place to buy a home in Scotland, with the average cost being recorded at £264,943.

The capital is followed by East Lothian, where prices have risen by 15.2% to £260,399 – the largest increase in Scotland. East Dunbartonshire came in third at £250,017, up by 4.1%, with East Renfrewshire in fourth place with an average price of £244,902 – a 3.9% drop.

East Ayrshire recorded the lowest average price at £117,676, a 3.3% decrease, while the largest percentage decrease was in South Ayrshire, which fell by 8.4% to £146,984.

Law added: “The regions with the highest property prices – Edinburgh, East Lothian and Glasgow’s more affluent suburbs – have a common tie, which is a lack of homes for sale. Average sale prices in these areas are reflective of the high demand for what limited stock is coming to market.

“Regardless of what kind of deal – if any – the UK leaves the EU with on October 31st, many Scots are pressing ahead with purchase decisions in order to provide short to medium-term security.

“However, in many areas, there are simply not enough homes on the market to meet that demand, which in turn is driving up prices for the ones which do.

“We’ve seen a similar pattern in cities like Stirling and Perth over recent quarters, where prices are edging towards the £200,000-mark despite sales falling.”

By Tom Jarvis

Source: The National

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Five innovative ways to combat the housing crisis

From modular commuter villages to innovative finance models, developers are finding new, inventive solutions to tackle the UK housing crisis.

Modular commuter villages

Located on the periphery of overcrowded urban centres, can provide affordable new housing stock while alleviating the inner-city housing crisis, according to Project Etopia.

Its first modular village, under development in Corby, Northamptonshire, includes 47 turnkey homes equipped with in-home internet of things technology, renewable energy, and intelligent heating and cooling systems.

The houses, which are fully mortgageable and have a lifespan of 60 to 100 years, are constructed offsite – four houses can be built in 34 days – and shipped worldwide. They are also affordable; a four-bedroom house in the Corby development costs between £320,000 and £350,000, compared with £450,000 to £575,000 for new, nearby brick-and-mortar houses, according to the company.

“Modular commuter villages the wage benefits of working in the capital, but without the high property costs,” says founder Joseph Daniels.

Etopia Corby is the company’s first project, but it is already developing others in the United States, Spain, Namibia and Kuwait. Mr Daniels says the company is also acquiring land in the UK to build a series of connected eco villages that will facilitate smart energy-sharing.

Specialist senior housing

Providing good quality accommodation for over-65s can free up large under-occupied family homes for younger generations to help tackle the housing crisis. Yet only around 3 per cent of homes in the UK are built specially for older people, even though around 18 per cent of the population, around 12 million, are aged 65 and over.

ExtraCare Charitable Trust has developed that it claims have freed up more than 750 local family homes.

To make its projects viable, the trust has focused on economies of scale and being a dedicated healthcare provider, which means it has access to government funds to help pay for often uneconomic communal spaces.

For example, it’s £48-million Longbridge Retirement Village in Birmingham, built on a disused car factory, comprises 260 one and two-bed apartments, plus a village hall, bar, bistro, gym and more.

“Good retirement living requires community spaces, but funding this while . However, we’re seeing exciting models enter the market, such as providing other services such as healthcare,” says Louise Drew, head of real estate at law firm Shakespeare Martineau, which worked on the Longbridge development.

Besides freeing up housing stock, senior housing can have other benefits. According to a recent study with Aston University, ExtraCare residents reduced their dependence on GP and hospital services, resulting in a 38 per cent reduction in NHS costs per person each year.

Building up, not out

Using existing rooftops to build upwards instead of outwards and provide 180,000 new homes, including 60,000 atop public assets, in London alone, according to housing developer Apex Airspace.

The company currently has plans to build 3,000 new homes in the capital, half of which will meet the government’s affordability guidelines.

By mitigating the need to purchase land for development, airspace projects are on average 35 per cent cheaper, according to the company. Furthermore, units are developed 95 per cent offsite using modern construction methods and then craned on to buildings which reduces construction costs.

A project under consideration in Bermondsey aims to deliver 31 residential apartments on two Lambeth and Southwark Housing Association-owned and currently occupied buildings by incorporating a double-storey rooftop extension and “bookend building” at either side.

As well as adding value to existing buildings for councils and private owners, managing director of the company Val Bagnall, says rooftop development can help pay for or share the cost of building upgrades, such as

Apex aims to deliver 10,000 homes over the next ten years, but Mr Bagnall says the potential for airspace homes could be increased by 25 per cent with a revision in planning permission law.

Pocket homes

Housing developers Pocket Living are helping the so-called squeezed middle get on the housing ladder by offering specially designed “Pocket homes” at a 20 per cent discount compared to the market rate.

The 38-square-metre modular factory-built apartments are cleverly designed for compact living. Each has an open-plan kitchen-living room, separate double bedroom and a wet room.

The company subsidises these homes by selling two and three-bedroom properties in the same developments at full market price. Costs are kept down with and modern manufacturing methods, according to the company.

Modular off-site construction has also enabled it to develop heavily constrained sites. Pocket Living’s latest project, a 27-storey, 89-home tower in Wandsworth, London, called Mapleton Crescent, was possible to develop because the housing units could be craned into the heavily restricted riverside site.

“Modular homes are better quality than traditionally constructed ones because they are made in factory-controlled conditions and they also create less disruption for neighbours as they come completely finished,” says associate and project architect on Mapleton, Jonathan Drage.

To date the company has developed 650 Pocket homes and plans to build thousands more over the next 18 months.

Mortgage-free part-home ownership

A house in the UK typically costs eight times more than the average wage, which means mortgage deposits are often prohibitively expensive for average earners.

Startup Unmortgage hopes to tackle this problem and help alleviate the housing crisis by offering first-time buyers gradual home-ownership without a mortgage.

Instead of saving for a full mortgage deposit, which at 20 per cent of the house price can be around £80,000 in London on average, Unmortgage customers can enter into a shared-ownership partnership with the company to purchase as little as 5 per cent – at a minimum cost £12,500 – of an Unmortgage-approved home. They then pay market-rate rent on the rest of the property.

Buyers can then increase the equity they own in their home by up to 5 per cent a year and, when they have enough to secure a mortgage, the property can be purchased outright.

Conrad Holmboe, chief information officer at Unmortgage, says the finance model can bridge the gap between renting and buying, while also providing long-term housing security.

“We aim to create a virtuous cycle where the more someone buys, the less rent they pay and the more equity they have,” says
Mr Holmboe.

Unmortgage is financed by Allianz Global Investors, which is reported to be providing £500 million, connecting pension funds and properties in a new way in the UK. With the first tranche of money, Unmortgage intends to fund “a couple of thousand” properties.

Source: Raconteur

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House prices would flounder in six months after no-deal Brexit – Reuters poll

Britain’s drifting property market would probably take a hit from a disorderly Brexit, with average prices slipping about 3% nationally in the ensuing six months and as much as 10% in London, a Reuters poll of housing experts found.

Roughly 85% of respondents said both UK and London house prices would fall in the six months subsequent to leaving the European Union without an agreement.

But if Britain departs the EU with a transition deal – the scheduled leave date is Oct. 31 – house prices are due a mild 1.5% lift over the following two quarters. They would rise 1.4% in the capital.

Results from the Aug. 13-20 survey show an otherwise tepid outlook for national price rises in coming years, at rates not far off an already-mild consumer price inflation rate and despite the recent sharp fall in sterling.

Indeed, the results suggest that foreign demand for property will be weaker than in previous years where declines in the pound have spurred buying, particularly in London, as it makes housing cheaper for those holding stronger currencies.

The survey also indicates in the near-term at least that housing, the bedrock of British household wealth, is not likely to give a lift to the economy, which contracted for the first time in 6-1/2 years in the second quarter.

Indeed, an overwhelming majority of respondents who answered an additional question in the first Reuters UK housing market survey since Boris Johnson took over as prime minister said risks to the housing market were skewed to the downside.

“Despite the new PM and team in government there are big icebergs ahead, not least the apparent willingness to leave the EU without a deal,” said property market consultant Henry Pryor. “This is likely to spook the markets before it reassures them.”

At the same time, there are fundamentals cushioning the market from falls. Hansen Lu, analyst at consultancy Capital Economics, notes the ongoing shortage of homes, which nearly always underpins British house prices.

Mortgage rates are also very low and not set to rise any time soon despite hawkish rhetoric in past months from Bank of England policymakers, and recent wage gains have lifted household spending power somewhat.

“Both factors are helping to prevent the current slump in house price growth from developing into an outright fall in prices. Yet on the other hand, Brexit uncertainty, as well as the high level of house prices relative to incomes, continues to weigh on buyer demand,” said Lu.

Others, like Tony Williams of Building Value, are more sanguine about the overall housing market’s prospects following Britain’s impending departure from the EU, no matter how rough.

“With no-deal, there will be a knee jerk action in which demand will fall followed by prices over the first six months of the UK’s new status,” notes Williams. “That said, life after a no-deal Brexit will revert to type.”

Average UK house prices are forecast to rise 1.0% this year, 1.8% next and 2.7% in 2021, little changed from 1.2%, 2.0% and 2.5% in a survey taken in May.

London house prices, already down 5% from their recent peak, are due to fall 2.0%. They are not due to rise at all next year, followed by a 2.0% lift in 2021, a slightly weaker view than what was predicted a few months ago.

Capital Economics’ Lu notes that with these recent falls and some recent wage gains outstripping inflation, London’s average house-price-to-earnings ratio has slipped to 12 times from a recent peak of 13.4.

“That adjustment, while welcome, is still small relative to past house price gains. With Brexit uncertainty set to bite further and mortgage interest rates at their floor, we think London’s fall in house prices has further to run.”

Polling by Manjul Paul and Richa Rebello

Source: UK Reuters

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Stamp Duty Land Tax changes ‘won’t address housing market issues’

Proposed changes to stamp duty land tax rates and ways of charging will not address housing issues and could make things worse, a property management firm has argued.

Apropos by DJ Alexander said that the recent suggestions given by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Chancellor Sajid Javid about where stamp duty begins and who pays for it, are using the tax system to deal with larger issues in the property market. Rather than helping to fix the problems, such suggestions will create greater uncertainty which will make problems worse, the firm argued.

The Prime Ministers’ suggestion of removing stamp duty for all property under £500,000 and the Chancellor’s idea of making the seller pay all of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) are ideas which often resurface and are then rejected when their impact is realised. Both politicians propose using a UK wide legislative change to address a London property market problem. The results in both cases would be inflationary, unfairly punitive to parts of the market, and unsuccessful.

David Alexander, joint managing director of Apropos by DJ Alexander Ltd, said: “Politicians seem to be clutching at straws in an attempt to reform the housing market and are using simple means to address complex issues. Changing the level at which SDLT in England and Wales starts will not resolve anything other than potentially provide a short-term boost to the currently flagging London property market. But this is the wrong solution for the wrong problem. There will also be a knock-on effect on the rest of the UK which we can see in the growing disparity in property tax levels between Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

He added: “The downturn in the London property market is driven by a number of reasons including the loss of confidence of overseas cash investors who find the uncertainty over Brexit of concern; a correction to an overheated market; and affordability issues. Investors believe there are other, safer, investment opportunities which they are attracted to and consequently these investors, who made up a disproportionately large percentage of buyers, have moved their cash elsewhere. Is this a permanent change to the London market? No. This market will pick up again. It may take a few years but anyone buying now will see an increase in their property value over the next five years. When the market fell 17.8% from its peak in January 2008 it took until April 2012 for average prices to recover. London prices began to fall from their July 2017 and so far, the lowest month was March 2019 when average prices had fallen 5.2%.”

Mr Alexander said: “The issue is that you cannot develop policy which benefits one part of the country at the expense of the rest of the UK. Changes to SDLT might make London more attractive in the short term but could have the unforeseen consequence of driving more people to the capital and consequently increasing prices in the medium to long term which will resolve nothing.”

He further explained why making the seller pay the stamp duty would be inflationary. He argued that sellers would be determined to recoup the additional cost of selling their home and would be tempted to add on whatever the SDLT cost would be.

Mr Alexande added: “There is also the issue of fairness. Why should someone who has paid SDLT to buy a property then have to pay it again to sell? This is penalising those who have owned a property for some period and benefiting those who are new to the market which is clearly unfair. First-time buyers moving to their new home would find they had lower funds to put into their new property which would clog up the lower to middle end of the market while those who had accumulated large sums in their property might delay selling to avoid the additional tax. Rather than free up the market it would make it very stodgy indeed.

“The housing market is a complex mix which requires sensitive handling. It is market-driven and sentiment is important. Sending signals out about rising costs, higher taxes, and penalties for accumulating value do not instil confidence. These constant suggestions and proposals are detrimental to the market, making buyers and sellers even more uncertain. The property market, like most markets, needs certainty and assuredness. Postulating and hypothesising on different changes will make things worse.

“Politicians would be better served liaising with property professionals for solutions to taxation, housing supply, and market behaviour rather than pouncing on single ideas and running with them in the media for a few days until they are shot down in flames. The Prime Minister and Chancellor are clearly testing out potential ideas for the Autumn Budget, but these need to be clearly thought through with more than cheap headlines in mind. Better to develop a long term, stable approach to the property market which involves private ownership, the private rented sector and social housing to create a housing system which is fair, provides homes for everyone, and is sustainable in the long term. This requires sensible debate among all interested parties and appropriate planning for the future.”

Source: Scottish Housing News

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UK house sales stronger than normal in August – Rightmove

August, normally a quiet month for Britain’s property market, has seen a surge in sales, possibly due to buyers seeking to conclude transactions before the country leaves the European Union on Oct. 31, property website Rightmove said on Monday.

Rightmove said sales in the August period, which cover the four weeks to Aug. 10, were 6.1% higher than a year earlier and their strongest for the month since 2015, bucking a generally sluggish trend since June 2016’s referendum on leaving the European Union.

“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,” Rightmove director Miles Shipside said.

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the EU by Oct. 31, even if that means leaving without a transition deal – something most economists think will cause major disruption to businesses and overseas trade.

But British consumers have largely shrugged off Brexit worries so far, bolstered by a strong labour market and the fastest increases in wages in 11 years, in contrast to businesses, which have held back from making major investments.

House price inflation has slowed since June 2016, according to official figures. But this has largely been driven by price falls in London and surrounding areas, which have been most affected by higher property taxes on expensive housing and fears of post-Brexit job losses in the financial services sector.

Rightmove said asking prices on its website were down 1.0% on the previous month – a smaller fall than normal for August, when many buyers are away on holiday – while prices were 1.2% higher than a year earlier.

Sales rose fastest in northeast and eastern England, and the biggest fall in asking prices was in southeast England excluding London.

Rightmove based its data on more than 130,000 prices collected between July 7 and Aug. 10 from its website, which it says advertises 90% of residential property on sale in Britain.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Source: UK Reuters