House prices in England and Wales fall by £3600

House prices in August are showing a North South divide

London properties are taking longer to sell this month, despite a summer price cut, as Brexit uncertainty compounds the dampening effect of the holiday season.

The £3,602 month-on-month fall in the price of property coming to market took the average asking price across England and Wales to £304,222, the property website Rightmove said.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: "There is pent-up demand with potential buyers still enquiring in very large numbers though obviously more muted compared to 2015's post-election highs".

"With the timing of Brexit uncertainty coinciding with both the seasonal slowdown and continuing the lull following the first quarter buy to let surge, 2016 will be a year of two halves".

The sector that would benefit most from an autumn pick-up is made up of larger homes with four bedrooms or more, according to the portal's data for the past four weeks, released this morning.

Across the country, prices fell 1.2 percent over the month - in line with the average summer dip of the last six years - but were still up 4.1 percent from a year earlier. Such properties now take an average of 74 days to sell, while the smaller homes favoured by first-time buyers and people taking their second step on the property ladder typically take 58 days.

To encourage buyers, owners of inner-London homes cut asking prices by 3.6 per cent from July to an average of £784,494 (S$1.36 million); districts further out saw values drop 1.5 per cent.

The biggest drop was in London and the South East, with asking prices falling by 2.6 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively.

The east of England has seen the biggest percentage rise in asking prices over the past year, with an average asking price of £334,951, 8.2% higher than in August 2015. It leaves London overall up 2.1 per cent on the year, one the slowest growth rates of any United Kingdom region.

Asking prices fell by a monthly 1.2 per cent, according to a survey by Rightmove that covers properties put on sale between July 10 and Aug 6, after shedding 0.9 per cent in July.

Rightmove said the southern regions, which tend to be influenced by the London market, had seen bigger jumps in the length of time it takes to sell a property than northern regions over the last couple of months.

Time taken to sell in London has increased by five days between May and July while South East and the South West were up by four days, and the East of England region was up by three.

The increase in the number of rental properties is partly due to landlords rushing to complete purchases before the stamp-duty increase kicked in, Countrywide said.

And at the start of this month, mortgage lender Halifax reported that the average United Kingdom house price dropped by 1 per cent in July.

Mr Shipside said: "It will be welcome news for some northerners that the traditional North-South divide may be taking a rare turn in their favour".



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