London no longer calling: home prices fall post-Brexit

Political uncertainty, new tax cool demand
March 02, 2017 10:30AM

Homes in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

London home prices are falling in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and a new tax on property sales.

The share of sellers who slashed asking priced rose in 31 of the city’s 33 boroughs between July and January, according to data by listings site Zoopla. In the luxury enclave of Kensington and Chelsea, the average price cut in January was 8.2 percent.

“Over the past two years some agents have been overvaluing to win business from sellers, but given the state of the market post-Brexit, buyers are now very astute and won’t over pay, And Reductions Are Taking Place,” Capital Estate Agents Joe Mourat told Bloomberg. “The British public are responsive to negative news, and we definitely saw a downturn in activity after the vote.”

Speaking at the Knight Frank wealth conference on Thursday, Liam Bailey, head of residential research at the brokerage, said London prices are down 6 percent.

London’s residential real estate market has long competed with New York for wealthy overseas investors. Uncertainty over Britain’s political future appears to have cooled demand for luxury apartments in its capital, but New York is dealing with its own uncertainty in the wake of Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban.

In its March issue, The Real Deal broke down how anti-immigration policies are threatening New York real estate’s status as a safe haven for foreign capital.  [Bloomberg]Konrad Putzier