Summer property surge as buyers outmanoeuvre Brexit

Property sales in the UK are bucking the usual quiet summer trend as home buyers bed in before Brexit.

The latest monthly house price index from Rightmove shows sales this month are the highest in any August since 2015.

Agreed sales are up by 6.1 percent year-on-year in the month to August, says Rightmove, which tracks listings and sales across the UK.

House prices have been fluctuating around the country, with London and the south-east showing a fall and other areas a rise as the nation watches and waits to see what happens with the UK’s exit from the EU.

Certainty of a deal

According to Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and sales analyst, the data shows buyers are determined to get ahead of the Brexit curve and seal their property purchase by the exit date of October 31.

He said: “Whilst another approaching Brexit deadline is now nothing new for prospective buyers, this one may seem more definite and therefore one to beat, with the government regarding this one as ‘do or die’.

“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.”

Activity bounce

He added: “There’s only so long that buyers and sellers can delay the familiar, financial and emotional forces driving the need to move, and with the average time between agreeing a sale and moving in being more than three months, we’re now entering the last-chance saloon for those who want to have finished their move before the end of the year.

“We often see an autumn activity bounce, but perhaps this year’s political activities have brought that forward into a summer surge as buyers have gone bolder and earlier than usual.”