Asking prices for new homes coming onto the market fell around the time of the Brexit referendum as political and economic uncertainty accelerated a seasonal summer slowdown, according to property listings website Rightmove.
The average asking price of homes coming to market in a period covering the four weeks surrounding the referendum — two weeks pre- and two weeks post- — dipped 0.9% month-on-month to £307,824. A typical July slowdown would see a 0.4% drop, said Rightmove. Over the year, this was 4.5% higher.
New buyer enquiries in the two weeks after the 23 June vote were similar to the same period in 2014. Though Rightmove noted a 16% decline in new buyer enquiries on 2015, it said there had been a post-election surge of 25% between June and July in that year, making it an anomalous comparative period.
"The summary so far, based on two weeks of post-Brexit-vote statistics is that the housing market remains steady, underpinned by the same fundamentals that have led to its recovery since the last downturn," said Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove.
Housebuilder share prices have tumbled amid fears that an economic slowdown and tighter credit conditions in the aftermath of the Brexit vote will hurt housing demand and send house prices falling. Ahead of the referendum, a Treasury analysis said a severe economic shock could clip house prices by as much as 18%. However, early anecdotal reports from the housing market suggest there has been no immediate disaster.
"While confidence has been unsettled, the governmental instability in the few days after the referendum now seems to be being addressed far more quickly than was originally imagined," Rightmove's Shipside said. "This is not a new credit crunch and the effect on banks and mortgage lending should be limited. As long as lenders keep mortgage deals attractive and available, the underlying demand for home-ownership should overcome most uncertainties."