House prices and transactions slumped in the month of the momentous EU referendum, but "confidence is now returning to the market" says the boss of a large estate agent despite the vote for Brexit in the 23 June referendum which has fuelled political and economic tumult.
Estate agent haart said it saw a 28.6% fall in transactions month-on-month in June, the firm's biggest ever decline. Its average UK house price dipped 0.2% over the month to £235,347. In London, the monthly decline was 1.3% to £558,760. But the start of July has seen a bounce in activity.
"Following the uncertainty in the lead-up to the EU referendum, confidence is now returning to the property market," said Paul Smith, chief executive of haart. "While there is still a level of uncertainty due to the Brexit vote, I don't believe this to be a long-term trend as the effect of the vote hasn't been as great as we anticipated.
"We are seeing sales begin to pick up once more as opportunist buyers take advantage of the situation by snapping up bargains caused by the uncertainty. Valuations have actually increased in the last couple of weeks as vendors look to get a professional opinion on the value of their home to understand what effect there has been."
Britain voted to leave the EU by 52% to 48% in the referendum. A Treasury analysis of Brexit has predicted that if there was a severe economic shock as a consequence of the vote, house prices could fall by as much as 18%. The Swiss investment bank is anticipating a 5% fall in house prices. Housebuilder share prices have collapsed on the assumption demand for housing will weaken. But early anecdotal reports from professionals in the housing market suggest there has been no immediate disaster.