House prices bounce back following Brexit downturn

House prices in England and Wales picked up this month from the lull experienced directly following the Brexit vote, new data suggests.

Property portal Rightmove reported a 0.7% month-on-month increase in asking prices in September. Prices were also up by 4% on a year-on-year basis, making the average value £306,499. This has been compared to the 0.9% decrease in prices that Rightmove reported in the weeks following the Brexit vote.

The increase in asking prices has been particularly marked for properties with two bedrooms or less, as prices rose by 3.3% on last month. This increase is making it increasingly difficult for first-time buyers to get a foot on the housing ladder. Rightmove reported the year-on-year rise in prices for first-time buyer properties as being 10.5%.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, said:

"Some of those trying to get onto the property ladder may have wistfully listened to speculation of lower prices in a post-Brexit Britain.

"While the referendum result has created additional downwards pressure in some upper segments of the market that were already slowing, those who do not own a home and arguably have the greatest housing need are now finding it harder to achieve their goal in the post-Brexit-vote aftermath."

In London, overall asking prices rose 1.9% from August to £630,974. However, prices in the city's most expensive district, Kensington and Chelsea, have fallen almost 12% in the past year, while there’s been an 11% increase in Barking and Dagenham, the cheapest borough.

The figures from Rightmove showing the overall rise in asking prices in England and Wales, follow positive data from other institutions. The Office of National Statistics reported that retail sales were up in August, following a bumper month in July and labour market statisics showed that the number of people in work was at a record high in July, as the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9%. 

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